Wellington Phoenix and Gui Finkler have mutually agreed to terminate the Brazilian’s contract with the marquee signing after eighteen months at the club.
Arriving ahead of the 2016/2017 season alongside Kosta Barbarouses in a transfer coup for then manager Ernie Merrick, Finkler made an instant impact scoring a trademark free-kick to win the inaugural Capital Cup against Beijing BG while on a pre-season tour of China before hitting a brace in pre-season against Melbourne City.
Finkler hit good form towards the end of his first season with four goals in five games, but has seen limited game time this season.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome expressed his disappointment that it hadn’t worked out for the talented Brazilian but also his gratitude.
“Gui is the type of player every club loves to have, both on and off the field,” said Dome. “As our marquee signing we had very high expectations with Gui.
“We’ve been blessed with a wealth of quality attacking midfielders in recent seasons but the club has to focus on balance across the whole playing roster.
“We’ve had some big conversations internally at the club in recent weeks and as disappointed as we are to see Gui go, it provides an opportunity to strengthen in areas we’re less well-resourced.”
For Finkler it’s a bittersweet moment, but the Brazilian is looking forward to the next chapter of a distinguished sixteen-year professional career.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Wellington,” said Finkler, “when I arrived I felt really welcomed by the playing group, they’re a great bunch of boys with good culture – it’s not always easy to find this at clubs.
“Obviously, this season hasn’t gone the way I planned, but these things happen sometimes in football. You always want to leave on a high but people who know me know my personality, know that I have always been a good professional.
“The club has been great with me from day one, so I’ll look back with happy memories of New Zealand and the Phoenix after my career. For now, I just want to get back to what I love doing.”
Finkler made twenty-seven appearances and scored seven goals across two seasons with Wellington Phoenix.