Tim Cahill's £2m transfer from Millwall to Crystal Palace looks to have fallen through over a payment to his agents.
Cahill wants top-flight football
Eagles chairman Simon Jordan refused to pay £125,000 to the 24-year-old midfielder's management company SFX.
Jordan told The Sun: "We offered Tim a decent Premiership salary and he seemed very keen to join us. The agent then asked for 5% on top - about £125,000.
"I told him he doesn't work for me but for the player, and to take the money out of his wages."
But Sam Rush, chief operating officer of SFX, claimed: "The terms of the deal did not appeal to the player."
Cahill, who has been with the Lions for seven years after moving from Sydney United in Australia.
He is hugely popular at the New Den, scoring the goal against Sunderland which took Millwall through to the FA Cup final.
The player said after Millwall's loss to Manchester United in the final that he wanted to remain with the club to help them into the Premiership.
But Lions chairman Theo Paphitis said he gave Cahill permission to talk to Palace after he made clear his ambitions for top-flight football.
Paphitis told the club's website: "Tim has been a great servant to Millwall, but he has increasingly made us aware of his desire to move on."