FORMER Newcastle Jets flyer Andrew Nabbout hopes to extend his stay at Japanese giant Urawa Reds beyond this season.
Melbourne City and Sydney FC are reportedly interested in luring the Socceroos striker back to the A-League.
However, Nabbout’s agent, Tony Rallis, on Friday ruled out the chances of that occurring and described the report as “fraudulent”.
“There is no offer for Andrew Nabbout,” Rallis said. “Andrew’s wish is to extend his contract with Urawa Red Diamonds.”
However, Rallis confirmed that if Nabbout, who is contracted for another season in Japan, was interested in returning to the A-League, the Jets would be the first option.
“We have a gentleman’s agreement with Lawrie McKinna that if he was to come back to the A-League, Newcastle would have the first right of refusal,” Rallis said.
The Jets gave Nabbout a lifeline in 2016 before selling him to Urawa for a $500,000 transfer fee 12 months ago.
The club had a similar arrangement when Dimi Petratos left the Jets, before playing a game, and signed with Ulsan Hyundai in the K-League. He spent six months in Korea before returning to the Jets at the start of last season.
“When we sold Dimi to Korea, they said we would have the first option if he wanted to return. He did and we signed him,” Jets chief executive McKinna said. “We have the same arrangement with Andrew.”
Nabbout missed the first half of the J-League season after dislocating his shoulder playing for the Socceroos at the World Cup in June. He made 12 appearances but only two in the starting side.
He has fully recovered and looms as a crucial component in the Socceroos’ Asian Cup defence.
“Our relationship with Urawa Reds is outstanding,” Rallis said. “Their football director and I have an understanding that towards the end of the first half of the season, we will sit down and assess the situation.”