City were on the cusp of bringing Palic – who has played for Dinamo Zagreb, Bangkok United and Dinamo București –to the A-League but were not prepared to lift their already substantial marquee offer, a two-year contract worth around $500,000 over two seasons.
Instead, The World Game understands that Palic has agreed a more financially rewarding deal with Belgium club Mouscron, a club that made headlines recently as it was linked to being a potential “satellite club” for Paris Saint-Germain.
Palic’s name surfaced earlier this week in media reports when it was suggested that he could become City’s latest marquee signing. However, while the club made a generous offer, the Croatian player’s representatives asked for an enhanced base wage.
The news will come as a disappointment to City fans who were looking forward to the prospect of the polished midfielder adding a touch of class to their midfield.
City are very much in the market for an attacking midfielder having lost Anthony Caceres, who has been loaned to UAE side Al-Wasl, while Fernando Brandan is only half way through his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained at the back end of last season.
The club was heavily linked with a move for Melbourne Victory marque James Troisi and was supposedly close to pulling off a shock move, only for the Socceroo to accept an offer to re-join Victory.
They are also looking to add a defender to their ranks, with Bart Schenkeveld of Dutch club PEC Zwolle - where ex-City coach John van't Schip is in charge - reportedly ready to join City in the coming weeks.