Adelaide United have ruled out bringing Argentine midfielder Marcos Flores back to the Hyundai A-League due to salary cap restrictions.
Flores played for Adelaide in the 2010-11 season before leaving for Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League, but his contract was terminated by mutual consent on Thursday.
The Argentine playmaker struggled for regular games with Henan and with the CSL club keen to pursue a more defensive style of play in their attempts to defy relegation, Flores was not considered worth a spot as an import.
But while Flores would be an incredibly popular signing with Adelaide fans, the A-League club quickly released a statement saying that they do not have enough salary cap space to recruit the 26-year-old.
"The stumbling block here is that the club has already 22 contracted players for next season and thus only have one spot left on the roster," an Adelaide statement read.
"Furthermore, the club already has both an Australian and foreign marquee player and as such, the club simply cannot contract Flores for next season as there is no room available in the salary cap to do so."
Adelaide revealed they had made contact with Flores' management and the two parties had been keen to get a deal done.
"The club has from the day Marcos left maintained strong relations with him so that Adelaide was always a serious option for him after the expiration of his Chinese contract," the statement continued.
"The early termination of his contract leaves the club in a position that as much as we admire and recognise his unique talents, we are currently unable to offer him a contract that he would accept."
Flores played 31 games for Adelaide and scored nine goals during his time in Australia and was widely considered one of the best players to play in the league, having won the 2010-11 Johnny Warren Medal for the best player in the competition.