Former Liverpool ace Robbie Fowler has rejected an offer from Australian A-League side Sydney FC, the club has revealed.
The striker visited Australia this month but he decided against becoming the club's marquee signing for the upcoming season, Sydney FC chief executive George Perry said. "Naturally, we're bitterly disappointed but we're satisfied we did everything we could to persuade Robbie to come to Sydney FC, Australia and the A-League competition.
"Robbie was tremendously impressed by what he saw in Sydney but he's chosen to go elsewhere. We respect his decision and wish him and his family well."
Fowler, who scored 183 goals in 369 games during his two spells with Liverpool and has 26 England caps, was released by his hometown club at the end of the 2006/07 Premiership season. The 32-year-old reportedly has a number of British clubs chasing his signature, including Leicester City, Cardiff City and Port Vale.
Under A-League rules, clubs can sign a marquee player whose wages are exempted from the team's salary cap as a means of raising the sport's profile in Australia. Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke filled the role in 2006, helping Sydney FC to the inaugural A-League title before moving back to England with Sunderland.
Perry said Sydney FC would continue to explore marquee player options. "It's important we ensure we don't get a marquee player for the sake of getting one at any price and compromising our standards. We need to ensure any prospective signing fits the bill," he said.