Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo declined the opportunity to make a move to Indian Super League (ISL), IBTimes India understands.
The Italian international made 31 appearances for the Old Lady in all competitions during the 2014/15 season.
An ISL club made an offer for the midfield maestro, as they wanted to make Pirlo their marquee signing of the second season of the ISL. However, the offer made by the club wasn't exciting enough for the Italian due to the salary caps set by the league this season.
Vishwa Swaroop, a consultant for many top European players, and someone who has manufactured quite a few moves to the ISL, told IBTimes India exclusively, that Pirlo decided against taking up the chance to play in India by signing for an ISL club.
"Pirlo was open to the idea of joining an ISL franchise before a potential move to the MLS in January. The offer, which was short-term, offered by the club was less than what he is currently earning at Juve or will earn if he decides to move to the States," Swaroop explained.
"He had great offers from the Middle East, Australia and other top European teams as well. I feel he will end up in the USA, when he decides to move out of Juventus."
The ISL's revised salary cap rule will be one of the major factors for star players like Pirlo in deciding against joining the star-studded league.
Pirlo spent his entire career in Italy, and is now open to moving abroad in search of new pastures. Swaroop had alerted the ISL outfit, and they wanted to bring him to India by making him the marquee signing for the upcoming season.
Any league outside Europe, baring few South American teams, is a step down for a player, who is considered one of the modern-day midfield greats.
Pirlo has seen his compatriots Alessandro Del Piero, who played for Delhi Dynamos last season, and Marco Materazzi, the player-coach of Chennaiyin FC, ply their trades in the ISL. However, that factor wasn't enough to tempt the midfield maestro to India.
World Cup winners with France David Trezeguet and Robert Pires, along with their compatriot and former Manchester United defender Mikaël Silvestre were some of the other big names to take part in the first season of the ISL.
The former United and Arsenal defender Silvestre is one of the star players missing from the second edition of the ISL, as he has decided to take up a new challenge at French club Rennes. The Frenchman was appointed the vice-president at the club where he started his football career.
Pirlo is reportedly close to agreeing terms with Major League Soccer side New York City FC. The American outfit, a sister club of Premier League bigwigs Manchester City, already have the services of Frank Lampard and David Villa, who are currently earning $6m a season, in their books.
Pirlo is set to be the Designated Player of New York City, and is likely to earn similar wages to that of the Chelsea legend and the former Barcelona striker.
With Pirlo reportedly closing in a move to the States, it will be quite disappointing for football fans in India, who are starved of quality football, with the ISL one of the only avenues available in the country to watch superstars in action.