Newcastle Jets play down talk of Andrew Nabbout move to UAE

Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna has hosed down speculation winger Andrew Nabbout could be on his way to the Middle East.

SBS’s The World Game reported on Thursday that the Jets had already knocked back an offer for Nabbout from United Arab Emirates club Al-Dhafra and that a second offer of more than $650,000 was imminent.

But McKinna said on Friday that neither the club nor Nabbout's agent had received an offer, although Al-Dhafra had expressed interest four weeks ago.

A $650,000 transfer fee would make Nabbout one of the Jets’ highest-priced exports. McKinna said the fee mentioned was “decent” but not that high.

“I saw that article yesterday. I phoned Tony Rallis, the agent, and he has heard no more. No offer has been received,” he said. “There are other agents involved. If somebody’s talking about it, you don’t know if that story’s coming from four weeks ago.”

McKinna said the club was obliged to look at any “good offer” for any player.

“Whether it’s Andrew Nabbout or anyone else, we have to look at any serious offer.

“I spoke to Andrew today, and Andrew has had no contact whatsoever with his agent or any club. He was as bemused as what we were.” 

Nabbout scored eight goals in 24 games last season after the Jets offered him a lifeline when he left Malaysian second-division club Negeri Sembilan last year.

The former Victory forward was the PFA player of the month in January after scoring a thrilling double in a 2-1 win over Melbourne City in Coffs Harbour. 

His formed dipped during Newcastle’s poor run home, but he shapes as a key member of Ernie Merrick’s squad in 2017-18.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley has just returned to Newcastle after a season with UAE club Hatta.