The career of Socceroos great Robbie Kruse could be over after he failed to secure a deal with Brisbane Roar.
Kruse, 34, hasn’t played since suffering a serious knee injury while representing Melbourne Victory in an AFC Champions League games in Japan last March.
He parted ways with the Victory in June and returned to his home state of Queensland.
The veteran of 75 Socceroos appearances started training with Brisbane Roar, and seemed set to sign a deal with his former club after proving his fitness.
Former Brisbane striker Charlie Austin last month urged the club to sign Kruse.
“He’d be brilliant for the group,” Austin said of Kruse.
“I’ve trained with him now for the last three months, and I hope (Kruse’s signing) unfolds for the lads and for himself. He’s been brilliant around the lads and on the training pitch.”
However, Brisbane was only willing to offer Kruse a deal for the rest of the current season.
The attacking weapon was instead seeking an 18-month contract, and knocked back the Roar’s offer.
It’s understood insurance matters also complicated negotiations between Kruse and Roar officials.
Kruse has also attracted interest from NPL Queensland club Gold Coast Knights, who are coached by his former Socceroos teammate Scott McDonald.
However, the 2015 Asian Cup winner could make the decision to hang up his boots after a decorated career that included stints in Germany with Fortuna Dusseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart and Bochum.
Another former Socceroo’s hopes signing with the Roar, former Sydney FC star Michael Zullo, also seem dashed.
Similar to Kruse, Zullo returned home to Queensland after the completion of his Sydney FC contract at the end of the 2021-22 season.
A serious calf injury restricted Zullo to just one A-League appearance in his final two years at the Sky Blues.
However, the 34-year-old left-back – who also stints with Adelaide United, Melbourne City and Dutch club Utrecht – had hoped to rekindle his career with Roar, with who he made his A-League debut as a teenager in 2007.
Zullo had also been training with the Roar in the hope of snaring a contract.
However, the club has decided against offering him a deal, with Zullo no longer training with the Roar squad.
Roar chairman Chris Fong claimed there had never been any contract discussions with Zullo, and the Brisbane club had only intended to help him recover from his calf injury.
Fong said the Roar – who host Wellington Phoenix on Saturday at Kayo Stadium – said the club would be active during the transfer window that opened this week.
Originally published as Former Socceroos star Robbie Kruse’s career could be over