A-League: Tim Cahill not on Newcastle Jets' radar

ON THE MARKET: Tim Cahill flies high for a header under pressure from Nigel Boogaard. Picture: Darren Pateman
ON THE MARKET: Tim Cahill flies high for a header under pressure from Nigel Boogaard. Picture: Darren Pateman

NEWCASTLE chief executive Lawrie McKinna believes Tim Cahill still “has a lot to offer” but it won’t be playing for the Jets.

Cahill departed Melbourne City on Wednesday, his 38th birthday, and hopes to find a new home where he can get regular game time in the lead-up to the World Cup in Russia next June.

The Jets are searching for a replacement for injured marquee Ronny Vargas.

Cahill played the final 14 minutes off the bench in City’s 2-1 win over the Jets at home on Saturday.

While the Socceroos’ greatest goal-scorer has star appeal McKinna said he was not the right fit for the Jets.

“Tim Cahill has been a great servant to Australian football and still has a lot to offer,” McKinna said. “But he doesn’t fit into our plans or the style of football be want to play. We are down the track talking to some overseas players who we believe will fit into our squad.”

One of the players of interest to the Jets is understood to be a South American winger and the other a natural No.10, similar to Vargas.

Cahill, who started in one of his six appearances for City this season, has been linked to a number of destinations. Leagues in the United States and China - where he has previously played - are in off-season, as are Japan and South Korea. A more likely destination could be the UAE, where friend and Socceroos teammate Ryan McGowan is based. The Arabian Gulf League's transfer window opens next week, with a brief break before the resumption of matches in January.

The Herald has been told that a clause in Cahill’s mutual termination prevents him from joining another A-League club. His departure statement suggests his time in Australia is up.

"Playing in the domestic league in Australia was always an important career goal for me, and my experience here has been fulfilling from start to finish," Cahill said.

Meanwhile, the Jets’ attacking stocks could be set for a boost, with striker Roy O’Donovan and midfielder Wayne Brown in an extended squad which leaves for Perth on Thursday for the clash against the Glory.

O’Donovan (groin) and Brown (calf) have missed the past three games but trained with the main group on Wednesday.

“It’s fantastic to be able to include Roy and Wayne in the squad this week, it’s important for our depth and adds invaluable experience on what is a tough trip to Perth,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said. “Given we’re travelling on a Thursday, we’ll take both players to continue their treatment, with a further session for them to prove their fitness on Friday morning. Just to have their presence and personality around the group will be massive, both are seasoned campaigners who will no doubt support many of the younger players in our squad.”