NEWCASTLE Jets have reopened talks with former Brisbane Roar championship-winner Erik Paartalu.
Paartalu is in the latter stages of a lucrative one-year deal at Thai Super League club Muang Thong.
The holding midfielder, who is understood to be on $500,000 in Thailand, knocked back an approach from the Jets in July.
Paartalu’s agent David O’Keefe labelled the Jets offer ‘‘fantastic’’ but said his client was committed to seeing out the season.
After a strong opening to the Thai campaign, the 28-year-old has started in one of the past four league games for the fourth-placed outfit.
Paartalu’s contract ends in December but there is a chance Muang Thong may consider an early release to lessen their wage bill.
The departure of Craig Goodwin to Adelaide United has freed up room in the Jets budget.
Socceroo Mark Bresciano has also indicated that he is keen to play in the A-League at the end of his contract with Qatar club Al-Gharafa in December.
The 34-year-old playmaker was one of the Socceroos’ best in Thursday’s 2-0 friendly defeat in Belgium and was expected to feature in a friendly against Saudi Arabia in London this morning.
Veteran Brazilian-born Adelaide left back Cassio, who is now an Australian citizen, is understood to be on the outer at the Reds and has been linked to the Jets.
Coach Phil Stubbins confirmed yesterday that he was in talks with a couple of central midfielders but would not reveal names.
‘‘We need to bring in a player who is a substantial acquisition for the club,’’ Stubbins said.
‘‘There are a few players we have discussed things with. Hopefully we can get that across the line. If that happens it will be a real tonic for the team.’’
Paartalu and Bresciano, who has previously been linked to home-town club Melbourne City, would need to negotiate an early release to be available for the start of the A-League season.
The transfer window opens in January.
‘‘We would prefer to get someone here now,’’ Stubbins said. ‘‘We have nearly five weeks to the first game. Sooner rather than later is the scenario that we would like to bring that player in.
‘‘If it is the player we have our eye on – there are a couple, but one is at the forefront – it will be a coup for the club.’’
Stubbins said losses to Brisbane Roar (4-0) and Sydney FC (4-2) at the Townsville Football Cup late last month highlighted a need to bolster their midfield.
‘‘It gave us an insight of where we were, our strengths and where we were a little bit short,’’ Stubbins said.
‘‘Central midfield is an area we have to strengthen. It is well documented that we have lost a few players in that area.’’
Late arrival Billy Celeski did not travel to Townsville and Ben Kantarovski was restricted by a knee problem. Both are expected to feature in a friendly against Wellington at Magic Park on Saturday. Goodwin was released by the Jets on Friday after an approach by Adelaide, with whom he has since penned a two-year-deal.
‘‘It frees up a spot for us and we need to strengthen in other areas,’’ Stubbins said.
‘‘It has been a balancing of the books. We are disappointed to lose him but at the same time it is about us moving forward as a club and a group.’’
Goodwin’s exit follows that of fellow youngsters Adam Taggart, Josh Brillante and Mitch Oxborrow, and experienced duo Ruben Zadkovich and Zenon Caravella.
Adelaide defender Allan Welsh is expected to sign as an injury replacement for Josh Barresi (knee reconstruction), leaving three places available on the Jets roster.
Goodwin joined the Jets in 2012 from the Melbourne Heart and signed a two-year extension last season.
Playing mainly as a left winger, he made his Socceroos debut at the 2013 East Asian Cup, which followed a trial with then English Premier League club Reading.
But in two seasons at the Jets the Adelaide-born left footer was unable to cement a starting spot, playing off the bench in nine of 19 appearances last season.
‘‘Craig has been a good kid and acquitted himself well,’’ Stubbins said.
‘‘Once the offer was presented, we sifted through it and came up with the answer we did.
‘‘It was best for all parties that we part ways in a way that was very amicable.’’