Mark Birighitti jets out for Italy

Picture: Simone De Peak
Picture: Simone De Peak

OUT of favour Jets keeper Mark Birighitti flies to Italy on Tuesday where he is expected to link with Serie B club Varese.

Birighitti has not played for the Jets since being usurped by Ben Kennedy in round eight.

The ambitious 23-year-old, who has an Italian passport, was a member of the Socceroos training squad in the lead up to the World Cup last year.

Frustrated by a lack of game time in the A-League, Birighitti is desperate for a move during the transfer window, which closes on February 3.

Birighitti's European based agent, former Socceroo Vinnie Grella, who also stitched the deal for Josh Brillante at Fiorentina, has been in talks with Varese as well as at least two A-League clubs.

Varese sit second bottom on 23 points and in severe danger of relegation.

They have three keepers on their books, 23-year-old Filippo Perucchini, Cosima La Gorga (20) and trainee Andrea Seveso (17).

Birighitti is in his third season in Newcastle.

Recruited by Gary van Egmond, the Perth born gloveman was the Jets players of the year in his maiden season, earned a national team call-up in his second, played for the A-league All Stars against Juventus and was poised to joined Bayer Leverkusen until a change of manager at the Bundesliga club.

Since that disappointment, Birighitti has struggled for form and confidence.

He started this season as the Jets No.1 but was dropped after a series of unconvincing performances.

Kennedy inked a new two-year deal last week.

If, as expected, Birighitti departs he will be the third Jets player to exit following Sam Gallaway and Marcos Flores during the transfer window. Jonny Steele was released in December.

The Jets are in talks with a host of players, including a Korean left fullback, but are yet to sign replacements.