OUT-of-favour defender Sam Gallaway may have played his last game for the Newcastle Jets after attracting interest from Western Sydney Wanderers.
Gallaway is understood to be close to finalising a mid-season move during the January transfer window, possibly in an exchange deal involving Wanderers defender Daniel Mullen.
Gallaway, 22, has made only four appearances for the Jets this season - twice in the starting line-up - and has not been required since the 1-all draw with Central Coast in round eight.
It has been a frustrating hiatus for the Coffs Harbour United junior, who was named youth team player of the year for the 2010-11 season.
Gallaway became a regular as Newcastle's left back last season, playing in 24 of a possible 27 games.
Including his A-League debut against Gold Coast in January 2011, Gallaway has played in 44 top-grade games for Newcastle.
Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby declined to comment on Wednesday when asked about the prospect of Gallaway seeking a release that would allow him to join Wanderers for the second half of this season.
"In the best interests of the player and for us as a club, if a player is going to go to another club, until something is signed off and confirmed I'm not going to speculate," Middleby said.
Like Gallaway, Mullen has played in only four games this season and was first linked to the Jets two weeks ago. The 25-year-old defender debuted at Adelaide in 2008 and has played in 71 A-League games for the Reds, Melbourne Victory and Wanderers.
While Middleby declined to shed light on Gallaway's situation, he denied reports that goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was poised to sign with Italian Serie C club Unione Venezia.
"I've been asked that question all day," he said. "I've heard nothing about that from him or his representative."
After the departure of Irish import Jonny Steele, the Jets have a vacancy on their roster and coach Phil Stubbins said on Saturday they would "be looking for a player or two" to bolster their struggling squad.
Middleby confirmed that Newcastle officials had started their retention and recruitment planning for next season, although he admitted there were "hurdles and things to take into consideration" - namely uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership.
Young Socceroos winger Andrew Hoole is among a host of players coming off contract and he told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday that he was yet to kick off negotiations with the club.
Asked if he had talked to Jets officials about his future, Hoole replied: "There's been nothing at this stage. I'm not too worried about the contract. I'm just trying to concentrate on football, game by game."
A Newcastle junior, 21-year-old Hoole would appear a player the Jets simply have to re-sign.
"I won't talk about individuals, but we have identified players who are priorities and important for the club going forward," Middleby said.
Meanwhile, Middleby said he was unaware of a rumoured incident in the dressing room after Newcastle's 5-2 thrashing by Melbourne City on Tuesday.
Sources have told the Herald two players became involved in a verbal slanging match and had to be separated by their teammates.
"I haven't been informed of anything," Middleby said. "But even if I had heard of something happening, if it was in the change room and behind closed doors, then I wouldn't comment on that. If there was a run-in at training, in the public eye, it would be different."