David Villa is to end his loan spell with A-League side Melbourne City next month due to his commercial commitments with New York City.
Former Spain striker Villa signed a three-year contract with NYC FC in June but, as the club will not take part in Major League Soccer until March 2015, he was loaned out to Melbourne City to secure game time in the interim.
Melbourne City -- which is 80 percent owned by the City Football Group that also controls NYC FC and Manchester City -- had hoped Villa might be available for the full 10 A-League games permitted as a guest player in the league, but the 32-year-old is due to return to the United States in early November to undertake marketing and commercial work for his parent club.
It is expected that he will therefore take part in just four games during the loan spell, although the club told Reuters that there is hope he could later return and resume playing for the club ahead of the MLS preseason.
"We would obviously want a player of his calibre to represent the club in as many games of the guest allowance as possible between now and the commencement of MLS preseason training in January," a club spokesman said.
"The precise number of A-League games that David will play will be determined by the best interests of the player and his now New York-based family and the prioritisation of the requirements of both New York City FC and Melbourne City FC. That means that his playing and training schedule will be the product of all of those factors and subject to ongoing assessment."
Villa, who scored on his A-League debut, is one of six players to have so far signed up with NYC FC, along with Frank Lampard, who is currently on loan at Manchester City, and former LA Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
- David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) October 19, 2014
Xavi Hernandez, who played alongside Villa for both Spain and Barcelona, has been regularly linked with a move to the club.