Manager Grant McCann insists Peterborough United had not given up on ‘disillusioned’ striker Joe Gormley.
Gormley has cut short a loan spell at Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone to return to his native Northern Ireland after falling out of love with the full-time game.
Gormley (25) moved to Posh in July 2015 from Irish League side Cliftonville with whom he had forged such a fearsome reputation as a goal-scorer he became known as ‘Joe the Goal’.
But he failed to transfer that form to League One, failing to score in five Posh starts before suffering a knee ligament injury that ended his season early.
Gormley was sent on loan to St Johnstone in August in an attempt to recapture form and fitness, but he started just one game for the Saints.
“We hadn’t give up on Joe,” McCann stated. “We felt games in the Scottish League would do him and us good. It’s a move he requested, but it’s obviously not worked out.
“I know those involved at the top of Northern Ireland football are working hard to make it easier for their players to settle across the water.”
Gormley is now in limbo as special dispensation is required from FIFA to allow him to join another club before the January transfer window.
Posh director of football Barry Fry said: “We received a call out of the blue from Joe’s agent explaining he had returned home to Northern Ireland as he’d become disillusioned with full-time football.
“Joe doesn’t want to do it any more. He wants his old life back. He wants his old od job back and to combine it with playing part-time football.
“We have spoken to Joe and we respect his wishes. His health and state of mind is more important than Peterborough United.
“His position is complicated as he is currently still on loan at St Johnstone. Because of that we need special dispensation from FIFA to tear up his contract with us right now.
“If we don’t get it we will have to wait until January before we can honour our agreement with Joe and cancel his contract with us.”