Bernie Ibini will reunite with coach Carl Robinson at Western Sydney Wanderers after buying his way out of the final seven months of his Newcastle Jets contract.
The Jets released a statement today confirming the disgruntled winger’s exit, revealing he’s paid the club compensation to terminate his deal.
“We want to have players at our club who want to be here and play for the jersey," CEO Lawrie McKinna said.
Ibini had declined to attend training over the past month as he sought a release, with the PFA enlisted to mediate a tense standoff between player and club amid mental health ramifications.
It’s understood Ibini’s agent also waived any fees to help speed his departure from the Jets, whom he signed a contract extension for in August having joined the club in February.
Robinson’s recent departure to Wanderers led to Ibini seeking a release, with the 28-year-old telling The World Game in November: “I only signed for Newcastle because of Carl.
“The club officials know this - it was clear this was the only reason. I just don’t think it’s the right fit for me anymore.
“I need to take control of my position and the direction of my career.”
Ibini previously played under Robinson for two seasons at Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS, and a third collaboration between the pair is now all but sealed in a case which highlights the urgency for the adoption of an A-League transfer fee system.
The twice-capped Socceroo has a goal and an assist from his six appearances since arriving in February.
Robinson is bolstering his Wanderers squad after a spate of departures, with James Troisi’s arrival from Adelaide augmented by the signing of defender Ziggy Gordon from the Central Coast.
The Scot, 27, joins on a two-year deal, having been an ever-present for the Mariners last season.
“Ziggy is a great character, a great leader and someone that will add more flexibility to our team,” Robinson said.
Gordon racked up over 180 games in both the Scottish Championship and Premiership, as well as over 30 matches in the Polish Ekstraklasa and I Liga.
“I know the plan for this club, I know the plan from Carl (Robinson) and the staff, and it’s really exciting,” Gordon said.
“I’m a winner and I’ll never apologise for it. I want to be amongst other winners.”
Western Sydney Wanderers were contacted for comment.