A HEEL injury to Tahj Minniecon has put an end to a proposed trade involving the Gold Coast midfielder and Jets striker Chris Payne.
Minniecon, 22, was on crutches at Gold Coast training yesterday and faces at least a fortnight on the sideline after damaging his heel in the 3-1 win over Sydney in youth league on Sunday.
The deal had been subject to a trial period for both players.
The A-League transfer window is due to close on February 15.
There were already question marks over the fitness and attitude of Minniecon, who burst onto the scene as a teenager for Brisbane.
He has failed to live up to the hype in his three seasons with the Gold Coast, where he has made one A-League appearance this season.
Newcastle Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said the injury to Minniecon was unfortunate and did not rule out a play for the 22-year-old at the end of the season.
Jets coach Gary van Egmond has made it clear Payne is not in his plans despite having another season to run on his contract.
Payne, 21, is the leading goal scorer in youth league with nine. He has made one appearance for the Jets in the A-League, playing 10 minutes as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Sydney FC.
He was left off the youth league team sheet against the Australian Institute of Sport on Friday despite being uninjured. Though open to a move, Payne, who has a six-month-old son, is prepared to bide his time.
‘‘It is no secret that Chris is on the outer,’’ said Mike Roth, from Inspire sports management, who represent Payne.
‘‘But he has another 14months at Newcastle and is doing everything he can to show that he is worthy of the first team.
‘‘If an opportunity arises at another club he would consider it, but in the meantime he will continue to work hard and try to force his way into the first team at Newcastle.’’
Apart from the impasse with Payne, the Jets are still looking for a new home for out-of-favour midfielder Kasey Wehrman.
Wehrman has not played since a falling out with van Egmond last month.
He had been linked to a move to Melbourne Heart but the more likely case is that he will stay until the end of the season before returning to Norway, where he spent 10 years.
The Jets have made an approach for Socceroo Nathan Burns, who left Greek giants AEK Athens this week, and have been linked to a move for fellow left-sided Socceroos midfielder James Troisi.
Jets midfielder Ali Abbas will officially become an Australian citizen today.
Abbas, from a Iraq, sat a test before Christmas and will be among 56 people who take the oath of allegiance at Newcastle City Hall this morning as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Australia citizenship means Abbas will no longer be considered one of five visa players each club is permitted.
The 25-year-old is off contract at the Jets. He wants to extend his stay, although his management has begun putting out feelers.
‘‘He would like to stay in Newcastle. He loves living there, loves the fans and is used to life,’’ Roth said.
‘‘In saying that, he wants to be a first-team player, and if he is not in Newcastle, we will explore other options in the A-League.
‘‘Being a left-sided player, which is quite rare in Australia, they are in demand.
‘‘If he is not in Newcastle he will be snapped up pretty quickly.’’