Newcastle Jets coach Craig Deans on Sunday denied a report the club had signed homeward bound Matildas star Emily van Egmond, but said they were working to find the funds to make a deal happen.
Van Egmond’s German women’s Bundesliga club, Wfl Wolfsburg, posted a statement on their website saying she was making “an immediate move back to Australia” and had signed with the Jets.
“The Australian international in Stephan Lerch’s squad, Emily van Egmond, is to immediately part company with last season’s double winners and head back Down Under,” the statement read.
“The 24-year-old, who had been under contract with the Green-Whites until 2019, has now signed for Newcastle Jets FC. The fee involved in the transfer remains undisclosed.”
Deans, though, told the Herald that no deal had been done and he was disappointed with the Wfl Wolfsburg statement.
“They have released her, but we haven’t signed her and we can’t at the moment,” Deans said.
“She’s on her way home, I’ll talk to her when she gets back and I’m definitely interested in signing her, but we haven’t got a contract with her name on it.
“We haven’t budgeted for her being available and I’ve had a chat with [Jets CEO] Lawrie [McKinna] this morning about it.
“He’s going to look into ways of trying to fit her in and getting something done as quickly as we can.
Deans said he been speaking with Van Egmond and believed “there’s a good chance” the Jets could strike a deal with the midfielder.
“She wants to be in Newcastle if she can, it’s just a matter of working it out,” he said.
He said the Jets had room on their roster to accommodate Van Egmond, with 19 players committed to fill their maximum list of 23, but the club needed to find the money and work out a transfer deal with Wfl Wolfsburg.
The Wfl Wolfsburg statement went on to quote sporting director for women’s football Ralf Kellermann saying: “Emily recently came to us with the wish to return home. We looked for a solution over the past few days and were ultimately able to grant her wish. We wish Emily all the very best for her future.”
It also said Van Egmond, who previously played for FFC Frankfurt, joined the Lady Wolves in the summer of 2016 and played 18 games for the Green-Whites, scoring seven goals.
Van Egmond was Jets captain and the W-League’s leading player as the Julie Dolan Medal winner in 2014 before making the move to the Bundesliga.
The daughter of former Jets A-League coach Gary Van Egmond has made more than 60 appearances for Australia and will be having her fourth stint with Newcastle if she signs on.
Newcastle are yet to reveal the names of four American imports joining their squad this year. Matildas Chloe Logarzo and Gema Simon are expected to also boost the Jets, who start the W-League season against Western Sydney Wanderers on October 29 at McDonald Jones Stadium.