Burnley boss Sean Dyche admits that his club's out-of-contract players, including Ireland man Jeff Hendrick, may not play for the club again this season due to a row over their contractual status.
The Clarets only named seven of the nine permitted substitutes on the bench for Monday night's Premier League clash with champions Manchester City, including Irish players Jimmy Dunne and Kevin Long.
Robbie Brady was not involved, though that's believed to be injury-related as he recently agreed a new one-year deal, but the fact that a number of senior players are out of contract, and did not have temporary deals done to cope with the extended Premier League season, caused a problem for Dyche.
Hendrick, a record signing when he joined from Derby County in 2016, has been offered a new deal by the Clarets but he has also been linked with a number of other clubs, including Serie A sides AC Milan and Roma.
"It's a strange situation with contracts, the chairman advised what we should do and there's been a long delay in getting things done so players who have not been offered things have made the decision to not finish their contracts for the next ten days. It's been tough for us," Dyche told Sky Sports.
Asked if the players involved (Hendrick, Phil Bardlsey, Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon) would not play for the club again, Dyche said: "not at this moment".
He added: "We'll see, I am trying to get the situation sorted. But it's not easy. I would have kept them all, even in the short term, but I don't sort the contracts out.
"It's not ideal but it's part of management, we still have a great group and I am focused on them at the moment."