Roy Krishna has agreed to a one-year extension with the Wellington Phoenix, ending speculation that he had played his last game for the club.
As first reported by the Herald, Krishna was pursued by the Colorado Rapids — but a move to Major League Soccer was been blocked by the Phoenix.
Shortly afterwards, Krishna disappeared from the Phoenix lineup, complaining of muscle soreness, despite two specialists not finding any sign of injury.
That led to speculation that Krishna, who had played 13 games, was sitting out to avoid reaching a reported clause in his contract, which said that if he plays 15 games this season, he automatically triggers an extension.
Now, he gets that extension anyway, presumably with a bump in salary, having agreed to a one-year deal for the 2018-2019 season.
Phoenix General Manager David Dome was pleased to get Krishna's signature.
"In a difficult season on the pitch Roy has been one of the standout performers for the club.
"There has been plenty of speculation about both local and overseas clubs being eager to secure his services but both Roy and the club have pulled out all stops to ensure he remains a Phoenix player."
The Fijian striker is the club's second all-time top goal scorer, and has been named in the squad after his recent injury layoff, which Dome attempted to clarify.
"Roy has always co-operated fully with the club's requests in attending specialist appointments.
"He was a chance to play last weekend and desperate to do so but from a medical and sport science perspective he would have been a high risk of re-injury given the reduced training loads over the last fortnight."
For Krishna the speculation was an unwelcome distraction from football, and the striker is just happy to focus on the job ahead.
"I'm very happy to re-sign with the Phoenix," said Krishna, "I'd like to give thanks to my family, my manager and to all the loyal fans who have been giving me such lovely messages in the last few weeks."
"Wellington is like a second home to me, we needed to make a decision and now I can just get back to doing what I love and what I do best."
Krishna could surpass Paul Ifill's record of 33 goals as soon as this Saturday night when Phoenix take on Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium.