Argentina playmaker Patito Rodriguez is not joining the Newcastle Jets after coach Ernie Merrick personally withdrew the contract offer.
The Covert Agent can reveal Newcastle originally agreed a one-year, $750,000 marquee contract with the 27-year-old AEK Athens player, but the deal is now off after Merrick changed his mind.
It is believed Merrick blindsided the Jets hierarchy with his abandonment of the deal for Rodriguez - an attacking midfielder who played two seasons with PSG superstar Neymar at Santos.
The player's agent Martin Priest is said to be furious about Merrick's decision, believing his client had secured an in-principle agreement with the Jets after securing a release from his AEK Athens contract.
Rodriguez's representatives are believed to be considering his legal rights via FIFA's dispute resolution process.