Football Federation Australia has lost an audacious bid to lure striker Fernando Torres Down Under, with the Spanish superstar heading to Japan instead.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool forward has agreed to join Sagan Tosu.
The club currently sits 17th out of 18 teams midway through the 2018 J-League season.
It is understood FFA negotiators were still talking with Torres' reps last night but ultimately came up short, with Spanish income tax laws a key sticking point.
He reportedly wanted as much as $4million after tax over two years, which proved too rich for the FFA.
Torres had tweeted his next destination would be revealed this afternoon, and Sagan Tosu confirmed the news just after 6pm this evening.
FFA have a $3 million marquee fund provided by Fox Sports to splash and Torres was among six players targeted.
Sydney FC looked like the most likely A-League destination for the ex-Atletico Madrid and 2010 World Cup winner.
The Sky Blues recently added $2million-plus to their war chest with the sale of key players, Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski.