Ex-England striker Emile Heskey is close to agreeing terms on a one-year deal worth around $1.3 million to join Newcastle Jets and end a frustrating search for a new club.
The contract has the option for two more years – at $1.3 million for each extra season – which would be triggered should the 34-year-old produce the goods on the Hunter as the club's latest marquee.
Heskey, who was released by Aston Villa, met with Jets CEO Robbie Middleby and Troy Palmer, CEO of the Hunter Sports Group, in the UK over the weekend to go over the finer points of an offer.
After initial trepidation, the former Liverpool forward has embraced the idea of completing his career in Australia where he would be in line for a head-to-head battle with Italian legend Alessandro del Piero in the round two A-League clash at Allianz Stadium.
Heskey's Nottingham-based agent Struan Marshall, of Wasserman Media Group, refused to confirm or deny that a deal had been done.
"Out of respect to the Jets I would prefer you get any information/clarification from Robbie or Troy or their press office, as and when they see fit," Marshall told The World Game.
The Jets were also remained tight-lipped, citing the club protocol of "not speculating about player movement through the media".
With 62 England caps – and just seven goals to show for them – Heskey is unlikely to break any A-League scoring records, his main strengths being his ability to create openings and hold the ball up.
Heskey, who appeared at two World Cups, only hit double figures on four occasions in a career in England which included stints with Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Villa spanning 19 seasons between 1995-and 2012.
But his ability to bring others into play allied to his physical presence and enduring fitness levels, guaranteed there was interest from more than just the Jets with Premier League Stoke and even former club Liverpool linked with him along with second tier Blackpool and Ipswich.
"I'm 34, I still feel I can play so I don't see why I need to retire just now," Heskey said after leaving Villa.
"From when I started, I always said I wanted to play at the highest level wherever that might be. You always strive for that."
The A-League will make its LIVE free-to-air TV debut next season with the blockbuster clash between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets on Friday 11 October on SBS 2.