Melbourne City confirmed star David Villa will leave Australia after the fourth round of the A-League season, with a return date in doubt.
The capture of the Spanish forward on a temporary basis from parent club New York City FC was heralded as a major coup for the revamped franchise, despite his stay being limited to the maximum 10 games allowed for a 'guest' player.
However, it has now been revealed Villa will be unavailable for at least several weeks from November 1 onwards when he travels to New York to fulfil marketing and commercial obligations, as well as helping his family to settle in the United States.
"We would obviously want a player of his calibre to represent the club in as many games of the guest allowance as possible between now and the commencement of MLS pre-season training in January," City said in a statement published by News Corp.
"The precise number of A-League games that David will play will be determined by the best interests of the player and his now New York-based family and the prioritisation of the requirements of both New York City FC and Melbourne City FC.
"That means that his playing and training schedule will be the product of all of those factors and subject to ongoing assessment."
City will reportedly seek to secure Villa's return in time to finish his guest stint in the second Melbourne derby of the season on December 20, with the Spaniard unlikely to stay for the home match against Perth Glory six days later.comments