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The boss of the A-League's New Zealand-based side is furious at the continuing limbo preventing a would-be star player from launching into pre-season preparations

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is "appalled" that Football Federation Australia have yet to make a decision on Michael McGlinchey's contract status.

Following the end of his loan period with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai and the transfer of licence at the Central Coast Mariners, McGlinchey – backed by the Professional Footballers Australia – believed he was a free agent and able to sign for the Phoenix.

But the Mariners have disputed this, claiming the 27-year-old All Whites midfielder remains contracted to them. The matter has been before the FFA for several weeks now but the governing body has still not made a decision.

"I'm appalled by the lack of speed in decision-making," Merrick said.

"To leave him in limbo for this long is totally out of order. I'm hugely disappointed."

McGlinchey, who was born in Wellington, has been training with the Phoenix since July 7 but has been unable to play in any of their pre-season friendlies.

He was ruled out of Wednesday night's 2-1 win over English Premier League club West Ham just hours before kick-off, leaving Merrick extremely frustrated.

"Two hours before kick-off our general manager (David Dome) was trying to organise for him to play but there seems to be no movement on decision-making."