AAP Soccer

Martins rejects Phoenix marquee offer

By AAP Newswire

A Wellington Phoenix bid to sign veteran Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins to a marquee A-League contract has failed.

Former Inter Milan and Newcastle United star Martins will make it a priority to recover from a long-term leg injury while still on the books of Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Australian intermediary between Shenhua and Phoenix, agent Ante Alilovic, told SBS the 33-year-old wasn't tempted by the offer.

"I don't think the A-League is a serious option in terms of what he can earn elsewhere. He won't be coming to Australia and I think he sees his future remaining in China," Alilovic said.

"He's told me he wants to hold off until January (to make a decision on his future)."

Football Federation Australia told the Phoenix it would dip into its marquee fund to help snare Martins' signature.

The Phoenix this month denied reports linking them with former Ghana and Chelsea midfield star Michael Essien, who is a free agent.