The 36 year-old Australia star is out of contract at Hangzhou in less than two weeks, and the clock is ticking on what he will do next as the A-League awaits with bated breath.
All the speculation has been about a season-long guest player stint worth anything up to $4 million at cashed-up City, but it’s understood that though Cahill has entered into intense talks with the City Football Group, he has yet to sign a binding contract.
Meantime, Hangzhou, who took him on a six month deal after he was shown the door by Shanghai Shenhua after 11 goals in 28 games, have tabled an extension offer until the end of the season, with an option for next year as well.
Though Cahill has struck only three times in 15 games for the team sitting second bottom of the ladder, and was missing from the 3-1 cup loss to Beijing Guon on Wednesday night, coach Hong Mying-bo and chairman Song Welping want him to re-sign.
There is also another Chinese Super League side keen to snare Australia’s all-time leading scorer, as his agent, Sydney-based Ante Alilovic helps keep the options open for a player still in demand as he ramps up his bid to remain a key member of Australia’s squad on the road to Russia 2018.
Alilovic has been in China for the past week in discussions with all interested parties.
Earlier this month, it was considered a done deal that Cahill would join City, with whom he has been in discussions for several months.
But with his off field fashion interests and other ventures finding a willing audience in China as his brand building continues, he might be tempted to remain in the country which has made attracting top talent its number one priority this season.
However, amidst the continuing conjecture, well connected sources in Australia are still confident Cahill will be playing for City next season.