Former Leeds and Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell has turned down the offer of a new contract with Melbourne Victory and is returning to England for family reasons.
The 33-year-old Australia international headed back to his homeland last season after three years with Galatasaray in Turkey and was expected to put pen to paper on a new deal.
But he has been forced to shelve those plans as the mother of his wife, Sheree Murphy, is seriously ill.
"It was one of the toughest decisions we've had to make," Kewell said in a statement.
Family comes first
"I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us to remain close to our family at this time."
Coach Ange Postecoglou had been keen to retain Kewell's services after he scored eight goals in 25 matches last season, while avoiding the injuries which blighted large chunks of his career.
"I was looking forward to working with him this season, but he has family matters that need his attention so while it's unfortunate, I completely understand," Postecoglou said.
"We'd been working very hard to come to an agreement with him and we were extremely confident both parties were close to finalising the deal, but these things happen and we wish Harry and his family all the best."