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FA work permit rules scupper former Leeds midfielder move

Rodolph Austin is without a club. Photo: PA

Former Leeds midfielder Rudy Austin is unlikely to find himself a new club in England, his agent has confirmed.

New Football Association work permit rules mean his proposed move to Sheffield Wednesday will not happen.

Jamaica international Austin, 30, was released by Leeds at the end of last season and Yorkshire rivals Wednesday had appeared to have won the race for his signature.

Hillsborough isn't likely to be Austin's new home. Credit: PA

But Austin, who spent three seasons at Leeds and turned down a £500,000 move to Wigan in January, will be forced to uproot his family as he no longer qualifies for a work permit under the FA's new regulations.

"For Rudy this is very traumatic," Austin's agent Darryl Powell told Press Association Sport.

"We had agreed a deal in principle with Sheffield Wednesday, who were going to make him one of their best paid players, if not the best and that was going to be on a three-year contract.

"Unfortunately the appeal process does not really work anymore. If you spend in excess of £10million on fees and salary you can bypass it.

"But other than that there's not much chance, even though he's right at the top-end of the pay scale and would make such a good contribution to life in the UK."

Austin, signed by Leeds from Norwegian side SK Brann in 2012, played a key role for Jamaica in their run to Sunday's Gold Cup final in Philadelphia, where they lost 3-1 to seven-time winners Mexico.

Rudy Austin was released in the summer. Credit: PA

"He came back into England two days before his work permit and visa expires, which is midnight on Thursday," Powell said.

"Under the new rules a player's country of origin has to be in the top 50 in FIFA's rankings over the last two years and Jamaica was in the top 75.

"His little boy, who is two, was born in England and Rudy and his wife want to make their home here. He was two years away from being naturalised, but now he'll have to leave the UK."

Powell said there were possibilities for Austin with Major League Soccer clubs in the US and there had also been interest from Turkey.

"It's very sad really," Powell added. "Over half of the clubs in the Championship would have taken Rudy on at the right level.

"We'd agreed a deal with Bolton in March, but that could not be concluded due to their financial situation."

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