Western Sydney Wanderers striker Tomi Juric has reportedly rejected a transfer to Shanghai Shenhua in favour of a potential move to European football at the end of the season.
Juric, 23, was believed to be on the verge of a big-money switch to the Chinese Super League side, which would have netted the centre-forward a huge payday and a fee for his A-League club.
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However, the seven-cap Australia international, who scored in the 4-1 Asian Cup win over Oman on Tuesday, was allegedly dissuaded from heading to China after discussions with Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou, according to the agent negotiating the failed deal, Ante Alilovic.
"Tomi had talks with Ange over his future and it may be that he told Tomi that he had to live and die by his decisions," Alilovic was quoted as saying by SBS.
"He told Tomi he picks his players on form but the feeling may also have been given to Tomi by Ange that he would improve more in Europe than China. If I was a national team coach I would have expressed that view.
"Obviously the advice of the ex-Socceroos would also have had an influence. From Shenhua's point of view, they are disappointed because Tomi made a verbal commitment to join them a week ago and he has gone back on that."
Juric, whose contract expires later this year, will now seek a return to European football on a free transfer at the end of the campaign, leaving the Wanderers empty handed.