Football Federation Australia (FFA) have revealed Socceroos legend Tim Cahill told them they “couldn’t meet his needs”.
Cahill, who had his contract terminated with Shanghai Shenhua this week, recently criticised the A-League for lacking ambition.
“I just need vision, I’ve never asked for anything but that,” Cahill told the Australian Daily Telegraph.
“The only thing is, some people’s vision is not as big as mine and it’s tough, because it depends where they want to be. Where does the A-League want to be?”
But FFA chief executive David Gallop has hit back at the 36-year-old and said the Sydney-born attacker wanted too much money to return to his homeland.
“We contacted Tim and his advisers immediately when we heard he was not going to be part of Shanghai any longer,” said Gallop.
“A number of our clubs also contacted him immediately. I personally was in contact with him.
“He made it clear immediately that we couldn’t meet his needs.”
The former Everton man this week claimed his departure from China was “heartbreaking” after new coach Gregorio Manzano said he was not part of his future plans just four months after penning a one-year deal extension.