Kewell snubs Newcastle Jets
Harry Kewell won't be playing alongside his former Leeds United teammate Michael Bridges at the Newcastle Jets next season after the A-League club confirmed the star striker snubbed their offer.
The Jets had been in talks with Kewell since February but issued a brief statement on Wednesday confirming they were out of the running for the former Liverpool star, who is tipped to sign with Melbourne Heart.
"Harry's credentials speak for themselves and we were obviously interested in discussing the possibility of him joining the Jets," Jets CEO Robbie Middleby said.
"Negotiations progressed to an offer but unfortunately Harry deemed it to be unsuitable for him and his family.
"We hope to see him playing in the A-League, because having players of his calibre competing in our league benefits all clubs."
The Jets appeared strong contenders earlier this month with Bridges saying he was in constant contact with Kewell to convince him of the Jets' interest in bringing the former Melbourne Victory player back to the A-League.
Kewell now looks set to join Melbourne Heart with a deal potentially being finalised soon.
But Kewell won't be getting a big cheque from the Heart with reports he will only be paid the A-League minimum wage of $48,000.
Socceroos veteran and former Victory teammate Archie Thompson added further fuel to the speculation by saying Kewell had been in touch.
"I actually text him last night to see how he was and he text me back saying that 'I'll be back and we'll play golf soon'," Thompson said on Tuesday in Japan ahead of the Socceroos World Cup qualifier next week.
"So whether that was an indication that he was going to sign at Heart, I hope so."
Apart from a recent brief stint at Qatari side Al-Gharafa, Kewell has been clubless since leaving the Victory for family reasons in June last year.
He was overlooked in Holger Osieck's Socceroos side to contest the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Japan, Jordan and Iraq next month.
Kewell, who has been open about his desire to play in next year's World Cup, is eager to secure a new deal as soon as possible with regular first-team football the only way of winning his way back in to the national fold.