Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has weighed in on the wrangle over Tim Cahill, asserting that the A-League's success doesn't hinge on the veteran striker nor any other player.
Australian football has long tried to lure Cahill home in the hope one of the country's most marketable names will help grow the local game.
The most recent attempt descended into a war of words between the Socceroos' all-time top goalscorer and Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop who, to Cahill's staunch denial, said he'd personally called him been told the A-League couldn't "meet his needs"
That was in February, when Cahill was scratched by Shanghai Shenhua and criticised the A-League's perceived lack of vision.
Again on the verge of becoming a free agent from current Chinese Super League side Hangzhou Greentown, the 36-year-old maintained this week he hadn't been approached, and challenged Gallop to make him an offer.
When asked, Postecoglou said that notion was "making a lot of assumptions".
"That's the storyline in the press," he said.
"I know what's going on behind the scenes, and certainly there's a willingness to maybe get Tim to play here.
"But Australian football doesn't hinge on anyone, it never has.
"I think when we're talking about guys like Aaron Mooy, he played in the A-League last year.
"He performed extremely well against some higher-profile opponents the other day.
"That's in the hands of the people involved.
"Timmy is obviously determined to get the most out of his career and I know that he's got real goals of staying in the national team and to keep contributing.
"His next move is a critical one from a personal perspective.
"For the A-League it would be great if he came here, but the future of the A-League doesn't hinge on Timmy or anyone else for that matter - and Tim's future doesn't hinge on it."
On Tuesday, Cahill said he'd "never closed the door on the A-League".
"It's obvious that there never has been any contact with me... I never had a phone call," he said.
"I'm very close with a lot of people in the league, but I can't press the button on anything.
"It's going to be left down to the big boss man of the league to decide what he wants to do."