Guizhou Renhe coach Gao Hongbo admits he wishes his club could sign Tim Cahill after the Socceroo was spotted at Wednesday's Chinese FA Cup which the Guiyang side won 2-0 over Guangdong Sunray Cave.
The Chinese club confirmed the 33-year-old Australian, who currently plays with Premier League club Everton, was only a special guest at the cup game and not in negotiations about a potential move.
Cahill endured a difficult 2011-12 season with the Toffees where he only managed three goals, prompting talk of him leaving the club.
The Australian's presence in China was a hot topic of conversation after the game, with speculation rife regarding a potential transfer after he was linked with Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad recently.
"I hope he could be interested in our club, and we wish we could find him in the pitch next year," Gao lightheartedly said before clarifying Cahill was only visiting.
However, former China national team boss Gao revealed Guizhou Renhe had previously contacted Cahill regarding a possible move to the club and the Australian's presence hinted there was more to the situation.
"The club actually had negotiations with Tim Cahill, but failed to reach an agreement," he told reporters.
"There were some technical problems, so Mr Cahill visits Guizhou this time. We really hope he could be interested in Guiyang and our club."
Guizhou Renhe currently have filled their five-man foreign quota, including Australian defender Dino Djulbic as their Asian player.