Newcastle captain Ruben Zadkovich has been released by the Jets to take up a two-year deal with Perth Glory.
Zadkovich, the skipper of the Jets, played in every game for the club last season and has made 97 A-League appearances for Newcastle since joining from Derby County in 2010.
Newly appointed Jets head coach Phil Stubbins told FourFourTwo the central midfielder’s exit was about giving his team some balance.
“With Ruben it was just down to simply balancing the squad,” Stubbins said.
“There was a heck of a lot of players in that position. Ruben being a top player was obviously earning the dollars that went with that bracket of player. For us, Perth came in for a good offer for him.
“I think for the boy’s own security, he’s got another two years plus out of that, so I think it was an opportunity for Ruben to go and challenge himself with Perth.”
Newcastle can call on Ben Kantarovski, Zenon Caravella, Josh Brillante, Jacob Pepper, Mitch Cooper and Mitch Oxborrow to play in central midfield, though Stubbins is looking to strengthen his depth in that position.
“For us it’s an opportunity for us to bring somebody else that can also balance our squad,” he said.
“So that was the reason for the departure of Ruben.”
Without confirming the signing, Glory CEO Jason Brewer told FourFourTwo the combative midfielder is "a quality player and would be a great addition to any A-League team."
"If we're successful, and hopefully that will be the case, he will be a great asset and further strengthening of our squad," he added.
"We've got a clear vision to strengthen the squad with that sort of player, so let's see what happens over the next 24 hours."
Meanwhile Perth's goalkeeper Danny Vukovic tweeted earlier on Wednesday: "Rumours of Zadkovich coming to us are growing! It will certainly divide opinion but I for one think he'd be a great inclusion for us!"
Zadkovich joins Connor Chapman, James Brown and Joey Gibbs as players to have recently left the Jets.
A Wollongong Wolves junior, Zadkovich made his A-League debut with Sydney FC in 2006 and has played more than 130 games in the competition.
The 28-year old has also had stints in England with Queens Park Rangers, Notts County and Derby County, and has made three appearances for the Socceroos since 2008.comments