Western Sydney Wanderers had been strongly linked with a move for Ribery through his links with WSW coach Marcus Babbel.

Western United had also been linked with a possible move for injury-prone Dutch legend Arjen Robben while fans had speculated on the chances of Arsene Wenger being tempted by the vacant Melbourne Victory job.

Wenger has previous experience in Asia when the 69 year old Frenchman took control of Nagoya Grampus in the J-League for a season in the 90s before beginning his 22 year reign at Arsenal.

Ribery, 36, is looking for his first new club in 12 years after Bayern Munich admitted last Christmas that his contract would not be renewed for next season.

And his Bayern team-mate Robben, 35, is also set for a new home after 10 years and 99 goals for the Bundesliga giants. He said last December that this would be his last season for the club.

A-League representatives immediately opened talks with a European agent representing Ribery, Robben and Wenger.

But at a meeting in Switzerland last January, it quickly became clear there was no chance of luring any of the trio to the A-League.

"The money's just not there," said one of those involved in the talks.  "The agent was very nice but there was zero interest in moving to Australia.

"The offers anyone here can make are small to what they get in other places."

Babble admitted at the weekend that the club simply can't afford to bring Ribery out even as a marquee – but there was also another factor.

"There's no hope of Ribery - he doesn't want to come here," admitted the agent involved. "And Robben is going back to his home club in Holland irrespective."