There are probably only a handful of players in the A-League, certainly under the age of 30, who would not jump at the chance to move overseas to improve their pay or career prospects.
Fair enough. No one in their right mind would pretend that the domestic competition, improving as it is, is close to the top of the pyramid. Any young players with the ability and ambition to represent their country would certainly want to secure a move to one of Asia's better leagues or a competitive European one if they could use that to help promote their careers.
While the A-League playing standard might well be better than in some Asian countries where the wages for foreigners are higher, salaries will, for most players, be the key determinant: not many of us would turn down the chance to double or triple our pay for doing the same job in the same or sometimes a less demanding environment for a few years, even if it meant moving somewhere where we didn't particularly want to live.
It's all fine when a move is in the interests of the club and player. On those happy occasions everyone benefits. The player gets the move he wants and the club, if it's lucky, picks up a transfer fee or, if the player is out of contract, a development compensation package if he is still young.
Problems start when one party wants out and the other wants the contract adhered to. At Melbourne Victory, both scenarios have been played out in recent days.
Jonathan Bru, a French-born Mauritian, was one of Ange Postecoglou’s first signings when he took over in 2012. The holding midfielder played regularly in his first season but has since been out in the wilderness and training alone. He could often be seen at Gosch’s Paddock going through fitness drills in splendid isolation.
His contract was due to expire in June, but on Tuesday night his frustration came to an end when the club announced a mutual parting of the ways.
The scenario with attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols is entirely different. Like the Mauritian, Nichols was signed by Postecoglou, but quickly became a key part of the Victory.
In fact Nichols, through the first 11 rounds of the season, had claims to be the most influential midfielder in the league, with many, including this columnist, suggesting that if he kept up his form he might be a chance to sneak into Postecoglou's squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
But now that Japanese club Cerezo Osaka is interested in signing him, Nichols' form has tapered off rapidly. Far from being the influential figure he was between October and December, he has been on the periphery.
Complicating this situation is that the J-League side has offered what the Victory terms a derisory sum – originally $200,000 but subsequently reported to have increased to closer to $400,000 – for the Queenslander.
The Victory have drawn a line in the sand and is so far resisting overtures, declaring that Nichols is a required player. Unless the ante is upped considerably, it is hard not to agree with the Victory given the player only signed in the off-season and still has a year-and-a-half left on the deal.
For Kevin Muscat, who made his displeasure with Nichols clear in Saturday's loss to Brisbane by hauling him off at the interval and letting him know what he thought of his efforts, the equation is simple: for the sort of transfer fee Cerezo is offering the Victory coach would find it difficult to sign a player of Nichols' quality for the rest of the season.
Inevitably it all comes down to money: if the Victory, or any other club, is offered enough it will be a willing seller. That's how markets work.
Foreign clubs undoubtedly see the A-League as a cheap place to pick up good young talent, reasoning that most players will jump at the chance to move.
But A-League clubs are learning that they have to protect their assets and get a reasonable return. It's something they all have to do if they want to protect their financial base, extract fair value for their best players and have a chance of bringing in comparable replacements.
The Central Coast Mariners have swelled their coffers by several million dollars through the sale of key players in recent seasons: Tom Rogic, Mat Ryan, Bernie Ibini, Mustafa Amini, Alex Wilkinson and now Michael McGlinchey have departed for Europe and Asia with various degrees of success but little bad blood. But the Mariners, the current champions, have found replacements and remained competitive.
The Victory has had a history of playing hardball. Years ago then chairman Geoff Lord stared down Guus Hiddink when he wanted to take Archie Thompson to PSV Eindhoven six months before the 2006 World Cup, extracting a loan fee up front and an agreement to buy if Thompson impressed in Holland.
It played a game of brinksmanship with Borussia Dortmund before driving up the fee it received for talented young goalkeeper Mitch Langerak to about $1 million. Earlier this season, it stared down Crystal Palace, which had reportedly offered $1.5 million for skipper Mark Milligan, retaining the Socceroo midfielder to lead its title push.
Certainly the financials have changed a lot. Star players go for extraordinary amounts, while journeymen or unproven youngsters do not command the sums that they did in the past, when Australians such as Zeljko Kalac, Jason Culina, Ned Zelic, Paul Okon, Brett Emerton and even Muscat went for what were, relatively, much higher fees.
Those days might be gone, and you can't blame players for wanting to better themselves.
But for the good of the league and the clubs' financial viability, they have to get fair value when they sell a player. Those who do sign contracts have to realise that it does bind them to their employer, unless there is a buy-out clause which is met in full. Or they receive an offer they can't refuse . . .