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Phoenix, Rigters deal breaks down

23 August 2011-SBS: James Macsmith

One and only appearance ... Maceo Rigters (Getty)

Wellington Phoenix has missed out on the signature of former Premier League striker Maceo Rigters after a deal fell through at the final hurdle.

The ex-Blackburn Rover joined Wellington for a proposed 10-day trial period on Friday, and scored a consolation goal in Phoenix's 5-1 loss to A-League champion Brisbane Roar, only hours after joining the team after a long-haul flight from Europe.

In a week in which Harry Kewell was finally announced as the marquee player for Melbourne Victory, Rigters, 27, would have been a handy addition to Ricki Herbert's squad but the club and Rigters's player representative James Hardy could not come to terms on a deal.

"Unfortunately the Rigters deal with Wellington has broken down," Hardy told The World Game.

"It was nothing to do with the club or the setup, it was purely to do with the numbers."

Rigters was very keen on joining the A-League but is now looking at a move to Romania or Greece. The former Netherlands U-21 representative has been a free agent since his four-year contract with Blackburn ended on July 1.

"Maceo, would like to thank the Phoenix for their interest and he will be flying back to Europe tomorrow," Hardy said.

"It's disappointing as it's a big loss not only for Wellington but for the A-League in general."

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