Newcastle Jets on trail of Gold Coast United’s Smeltz

First Jason Culina and now potentially Shane Smeltz suggests the Newcastle Jets are trying to put together a Premiership-winning squad prior to next season.

First Jason Culina and now potentially Shane Smeltz suggests the Newcastle Jets are trying to put together a Premiership-winning squad prior to next season.

Jets coach Branko Culina has already lured son Jason to the Hunter Valley and now the club, backed by mining and racing magnate Nathan Tinkler’s millions, are pondering whether or not to make an offer to New Zealand international Smeltz who seems increasingly likely to leave the Gold Coast.

Culina admitted the former Wellington Phoenix man was a tantalising prospect but did not say yes or no about a transfer offer.

‘‘We have indicated that we want a striker and Shane is available,’’ Culina told the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘No doubts Shane has a few options as well.

‘‘He is considering his options and we will consider ours. We are in a good position now where we have an owner who is willing to provide the funds to get the right player.

‘‘We have to explore those options. There has been talk of a high-profile player who will put bums on seats being a better option.

‘‘We have to weigh up the practicality of it and see what suits us best next season.

‘‘What people have to realise is that Nathan [Tinkler] doesn’t do things half-hearted.

‘‘David Beckham was a perfect example of that. No one would have expected Newcastle would host the LA Galaxy and Beckham. It costs a lot of money but he did it.’’

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