Newcastle Jets sweat on grounded striker

Ecuadorean international striker Edson Montano remains grounded in his homeland more than a month after the Newcastle Jets announced his signing.

The A-League outfit is still hopeful the 23-year-old will line-up for their FFA Cup clash against Perth Glory at Magic Park on Tuesday, but a lot will depend on Montano securing his visa and international transfer clearance.

Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby told the Newcastle Herald the delay hasn’t come as a surprise and the club is trying to get him on the next available flight.

‘‘We always knew that getting him a visa would be a long process, because he’s from a South American country,’’ Middleby said.

‘‘We would have hoped to have had him here for the game against Perth next week, and we’re still hopeful of that, because any day his visa could be approved.

‘‘We’re pushing it as much as we can. We’ve had a lot of correspondence with his club over there, Australian immigration and their immigration, and it could be any day that we get the approval.

‘‘If the approval was to come in the next couple of days, there’s still a chance (of him playing) because his ITC would be granted straight away.’’ 

Another Newcastle signing, Jeronimo, was quick to endear himself to the Jets’ faithful, bagging four goals in an 8-1 demolition of the Weston Bears in Wednesday night’s friendly.

Middleby said the Jets also remained interested in defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu but, with the Thai-based 28-year-old unavailable  until the January transfer window, the club was considering a number of options.