The 35-year-old fielded a host of international offers before settling on Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in what is believed to be a lucrative, multi-year deal.
Cahill discussed a potential Premier League return with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright while former Everton boss David Moyes failed to land the Socceroos’ all-time leading scorer at Spanish club Real Sociedad.
“I’ve done the Premier League, I’ve done America,” Cahill said. “New York was amazing for me but China is a growing market in football.”
“You see in the Asian Cup quarter-final game that we played against China, millions of people watched it and I’m someone who is embracing culture and a different aspect of life.
“I’m at an age where I want to give something back to football and still play at a high level.
“I think it’s exciting. To still be in demand and have the offers I’ve had is special but this will be massive for me as a player on and off the park.”
Owner of the fastest goal in MLS history and a leader behind the club’s 2013 Supporter’s Shield, Cahill and the Red Bulls reached a mutual agreement on Tuesday enabling the veteran to depart the club with a final season remaining on a three-year contract.
The Sydney-born Cahill said no real A-League offers were presented to him.
“To be totally honest I respect Australian football so much, and a lot of speculation has always thrown my name in.
“I’ve always asked for a project, grassroots and everything. I’ve never really had an official offer in the last two months. I can say openly that (Sydney FC CEO) Tony Pignata is a gentlemen — he did reach out after the World Cup but realistic offers? There was nothing …”
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