Australia international Tim Cahill says he is to leave Shanghai Shenhua ahead of the new Chinese Super League season as he is not part of new coach Gregorio Manzano’s plans.
Cahill has been with Shenhua since leaving New York Red Bulls in February 2015 and agreed an extension to his initial one-year deal in November – a month prior to Manzano’s appointment as coach.
The 36-year-old scored 11 goals in 28 league appearances for Shenhua while also helping the club to the final of the Chinese FA Cup during his debut campaign.
But Cahill’s time at Shanghai appears over, posting on Instagram: “I’m very sorry to announce that I have reached an agreement with Shanghai Shenhua to terminate my contract.
“[I have been] 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.”
Shenhua recently announced the signing of Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin – the Colombian among a host of high-profile players to join newly-wealthy Chinese clubs.
Jackson Martinez, Ramires, Gervinho and Alex Teixeira will also feature in the upcoming Chinese Super League campaign, while Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins has recently been linked with Shenhua.