Birmingham City have admitted defeat on their £2.25 million gamble to make a Premiership striker of Luciano Figueroa.
The 22-year-old Argentinian, whose dramatic arrival at St Andrew's was subject to a Fifa ruling in August after Spanish club Real Osasuna tried to sign him, has had his contract cancelled by mutual consent.
Figueroa is expected to complete a move to Mexican side Cruz Azul for an undisclosed fee.
The news that Figueroa has returned across the Atlantic is not a surprise, manager Steve Bruce having revealed only last week that the unsettled striker was discussing the possibility of a loan move to Cruz Azul.
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The only sticking point was the length of the deal. After his inability to be anywhere near a regular first-team place at St Andrew's, Blues have decided to clear the decks and get him off their books before the January transfer window.
Figueroa's failure at Blues will stand as a rare blot on Bruce's excellent buying record, but the City boss was never actually given the opportunity to see him play.
Admitting that Figueroa was frustrated at his lack of chances and that he needed first-team football, Bruce was sympathetic but pragmatic about a player billed as 'the next Batistuta' when he became the second Argentinian to sign for Blues.
Bruce said last week: "There's always a risk when you sign South American players and he was always going to have problems in the Premiership, because of his physique."
Despite scoring seven times for the reserves, only to be a late withdrawal from last week's 7-1 Birmingham Senior Cup win over Burton Albion, Figueroa managed only three minutes of Premiership action, as a late substitute in the 2-0 home win over Portsmouth in September. Before his arrival, he scored 17 goals in 19 games for Rosario Central in the opening half of the Argentinian championship.