Australia’s top goalscorer Tim Cahill has had his contract terminated by Chinese club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, he said Tuesday, a year after he joined.
The 36-year-old veteran and former Everton star agreed to extend his stay just months ago, but said on Instagram: “I’m very sorry to announce that I have reached an agreement with Shanghai Shenhua to terminate my contract.”
“I’m not part of the new coach Manzano’s plans for the 2016 season,” he said he had been told.
A spokesman for Shenhua did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Cahill, one of the biggest foreign names in the Chinese Super League (CSL), said in the posting he was “very sad”, adding: “Regardless of whether my contract is being honoured and paid out in full, I would much rather have seen it out.”
He did not reveal his future plans, but said he would share more information once “final details” are completed.
Cahill left Everton in 2012 and joined the New York Red Bulls.
Many fans posted comments asking him to join their clubs, including Everton supporters urging him to return to Goodison, and backers of several clubs in Australia’s A-League.
Shenhua have hosted high-profile foreign players before, including Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka of France, and last month signed Inter Milan’s Colombian international Fredy Guarin — the latest in a stream of European-based players to head east.
Cahill said last week that many of the new arrivals in the cashed-up CSL were motivated by greed.
The Chinese record transfer fee has been smashed four times in the current transfer window, culminating in Jiangsu Suning paying Shakhtar Donetsk 50 million euros (US$56 million) for Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira.
Earlier Guangzhou Evergrande snapped up Atletico Madrid’s Jackson Martinez for 42 million euros, and Jiangsu signed Ramires from Chelsea for 28 million euros.
“You’re turning down Liverpool, you’re leaving Chelsea,” Cahill told an Australian television station, referring to Teixeira and Ramires.
“The choices that players are making are not about football like it was in my day, they’re purely about personal gains and it depends what you want as an individual,” he said.
“Is it going to help players? No. Is it going to be big for the country? Yes.” – Agence France-Presse