Former Everton player and club legend Tim Cahill has been left devastated after Shanghai Shenhua elected to terminate his contract just months after agreeing an extension, according to BBC Sport.
The 35-year-old took to Instagram to post a 200-word farewell to the Shenhua's fans and voice his disappointment at being forced out of a club he helped so much to develop.
Cahill was one of the first big names to arrive in the 2014/15 season, but the Chinese Super League side has since seen an influx of European stars.
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The Shanghai outfit has spent big on the likes of Demba Ba and Fredy Guarin in an effort to keep pace with the rest of the competition, which has shelled out a collective £200 million in the current transfer window.
Australia international Cahill was told newly appointed manager Gregorio Manzano did not consider him to be part of the club’s plans for the 2016 campaign - a decision Cahill says is "very sad" considering how he has helped the club achieve its current status.
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"This is very sad especially after what I feel I have helped to build in Shanghai Shenhua on and off the park," he wrote on Instagram.
Cahill also claimed money holds no bearing on his desire to represent the Super League club and he was instead motivated by the prospect of taking the team to higher places in the new year.
"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."
The Socceroos striker said he could reveal more details of his shock exit in the coming days before declaring the next move of his career is right around the corner.
"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!"
WHERE MIGHT CAHILL GO?
A Major League Soccer franchise would likely welcome Cahill back with open arms, especially with David Beckham’s Miami project on the lookout for new players ahead of its 2018 season debut.
Australian A-League fans have been crying out for their national icon to return home before hanging up his boots, and there would be an almighty scramble for his signature should he be interested in listening to offers.
Cahill is all-but past the level of top-flight European football now, but he could prove a useful signing for a Championship or League 1 outfit in the English lower divisions.