A-League legend Besart Berisha’s search for a second incarnation in the competition has failed to ignite the interest of club chiefs, leaving the naturalised Australian in limbo.
The league’s all-time top scorer is back in Australia seeking to resolve his future following his release last month by J-League giant Sanfrecce Hiroshima - 13 months after joining them from Melbourne Victory.
But to date the fiery 34-year-old former Albanian international has been unable to attract any firm offers from a number of A-League clubs still in the market for a central striker, including the likes of Central Coast, Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix.
Despite his record setting 106 goals from 171 A-League appearances across seven seasons with Brisbane Roar and then Melbourne Victory, Berisha’s lack of game time in Japan may be telling against him, along with his now veteran status.
He was unable to manage a single J-League minute this season before his exit, and amassed only six appearances off the bench in his debut season following his vaunted arrival from Victory in 2018.
It’s understood that Berisha’s forceful and sometimes abrasive nature - a characteristic which never held him back in Australia - wasn’t as readily appreciated in Japan, where his relationship with Sanfrecce coach Hiroshi Jofuku was often less than cordial.
A dual championship winner with the Roar and Victory, Berisha’s inability - thus far - to find a willing taker is still nonetheless surprising in light of his undoubted pedigree.
With the season due to kick off on October 11, the clock is ticking.
His best hope might be to land an injury replacement gig as the season unfolds should clubs continue to leave him off their recruitment wish lists.
Either that, or possibly he could ease into retirement and study for his coaching badges.