Central Coast Mariners are set to miss out on the signing of Australian striker Apostolos Giannou.
The Covert Agent can reveal the 27-year-old attacker is close to inking a loan deal with a Cypriot club for the rest of the European season.
It's understood the Mariners put in a strong offer to Giannou's Chinese club Guangzhou R&F, but have been outbid on the loan signing fee and what percentage of the player's wages they would pay.
Giannou is believed to earn around AU$1.5 million-a-season in China, but is surplus to requirements at Guangzhou because of foreign player squad restrictions.
The Greek-born Australian worked his way into Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos squad during World Cup qualification but hasn't been sighted in the green and gold since being a substitute for the 2-2 draw against Thailand in November 2016.
The player is keen to get more game time to put himself in the frame for Australian World Cup selection.