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Hoolahan closes in on move to A-League side Newcastle Jets

23:25 SAST 2019/07/31
Wes Hoolahan Ireland Euro 2016
The veteran is set to head Down Under after spending his entire career in the UK and Ireland

Irish midfielder Wes Hoolahan is reportedly in talks with A-League club Newcastle Jets after rejecting an offer to stay in England.

The 37-year-old is a free agent after spending last season in the Championship with West Bromwich Albion and is said to have turned down an offer from League Two side Cambridge United despite recently training with the club.

Hoolahan is instead close to sealing a deal with Ernie Merrick's Jets to become the club's third foreign signing, according to the Irish Sun .

The playmaker nearly headed to Australia at the end of last season after finishing up a 10-year spell with Norwich - instead choosing to remain in the Championship with a move to the Baggies.

He only made six apperarances for West Brom - all as a substitute - after initially joining on a short term deal in September that was extended to the whole season in February.

Hoolahan made a name for himself during his decade at Norwich, where he scored 54 goals and made 78 assists in 351 appearances, including four seasons in the English Premier League.

The Shelbourne junior gathered 43 caps and three goals for the Republic of Ireland - scoring for his nation against Sweden at Euro 2016 in France.

Newcastle finished seventh in the A-League last season - a serious decline following the grand final they qualified for in the 2017-18 campaign.

The Jets have signed Panamanian international Abdiel Arroyo as their no.9 and look set to pair Hoolahan with Socceroo playmaker Dimitri Petratos in the team's creative hub.

Their first hit-out of the season came in a friendly against Edgeworth Eagles on Wednesday, with Petratos scoring the only goal of the game.

Newcastle's first competitive match of the season will come in the form of an FFA Cup road trip against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on August 7.

The contest will see new Victory signing Andrew Nabbout come up against the Jets for the first time since returning to Australia.

Nabbout developed into a top class player at the Jets after he was cut by Victory - the club who started his career - following their 2015 grand final triumph.