Tim Cahill has announced that he is leaving Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua after being told he is not in the club's plans.
However, despite renewing his contract late last year, Shenhua coach Gregorio Manzano, who was appointed after the renewal, has told the former Everton attacking midfielder he is surplus to requirements.
- Socceroos (@Socceroos) February 16, 2016
Cahill, who had recently been critical of Chinese clubs' spending, wrote on his Instagram page: "I'm very sorry to announce that I have reached an agreement with Shanghai Shenhua to terminate my contract after being told that I'm not part of the new coach Manzano's plans for the 2016 season having only just signed a new contract in November.
"This is very sad especially after what I feel I have helped to build in Shanghai Shenhua on and off the park. Just thinking about saying goodbye to my team-mates and especially the amazing fans is heartbreaking.
"Regardless of whether my contract is being honored and paid out in full, I would much rather have seen it out and finished what we started. I will always think about what could have been for us as a club in 2016. I will be able to share more information in the next 48 hours once the final details have been completed. Next chapter coming very soon!
"I would like to thank the amazing Shenhua supporters, the Chinese staff members and all my teammates for your amazing support; you will all be remembered by my family and myself. I would also like to thank my Chinese partner SECA for their continued support in my career."
CSL clubs are restricted to five foreign players in their squad, with one of the five having to hold a passport belonging to an Asian Football Confederation nation. They are permitted to field three foreigners and one AFC player on the pitch at any one time.
Shenhua signed Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin from Inter Milan last month, adding to a squad that already includes his compatriot Giovanni Moreno, Senegal striker Demba Ba and Greek defender Avraam Papadopoulos, who qualifies for the AFC slot as he holds an Australian passport.
Malian midfielder Momo Sissoko is leaving the club ahead of the new season next month, which will allow Shenhua to complete the signing of Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins from Seattle Sounders.
Manzano has told reporters: "If Martins can join Shenhua, I hope he will be as professional as Cahill, train hard and contribute goals and assists."