Tim Cahill Leaves New York, Joins Chinese Super League

Socceroo shuns Premier League, La Liga for Chinese offer.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Socceroos star Tim Cahill will continue his football career in China after the former Everton striker came to an early termination agreement with MLS club New York Red Bulls.

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 …”

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.