Bilel Mohsni's future at Southend is once again unclear with the Frenchman set to go on trial at an unnamed Premier League club.
The enigmatic defender-come-forward had a contrasting campaign with the Shrimpers last term, with his impressive displays and crucial goals overshadowed by three suspensions and numerous bust-ups which threatened to cut short his time at Roots Hall.
But after giving Mohsni a reprieve and subsequently activating a new 12-month extension clause in his contract this summer, manager Paul Sturrock is facing yet another showdown.
He told Southend's official website: "Bilel requested an extension to his holiday to attend a family wedding which we were prepared to grant. Although we were not happy about him returning late for pre-season with the rest of the players.
"Bilel believes he can play at a higher level and has on Monday advised that he is very reluctant to return to Southend at all and he has ambitions to play at least in the Championship. As a consequence, his agent has arranged for him to train with a Premier League club and he will be returning to the UK on Tuesday.
"It is likely this will result in playing in pre-season this weekend so the side can monitor his progress."