SPARK: The Jets are interested in Nathan Burns.FOUR years ago, unknown Korean import Song Jin-hyung proved a lucky charm for the Newcastle Jets in their charge to the A-League title.
Two weeks before the 2012 January transfer window opens, Jets coach Gary van Egmond remains interested in augmenting his squad with a similarly strategic swoop.
Van Egmond recalled yesterday how Song, who played just twice for Newcastle before the 2008 grand final, was a ‘‘key signing’’ who provided spark at a crucial stage of the season.
The Jets are fifth on the table but are still searching for something, or someone, to kick-start their campaign.
With 11 goals in their first 10 games, it would appear an attacking player would be top of Newcastle’s wish list.
The Jets have been linked to former Adelaide midfielder Nathan Burns, who plays for AEK Athens, but other A-League outfits are reported to be circling the 23-year-old.
There have been suggestions Newcastle will be unable to sign Burns – or any other high-profile player – until they have finalised the release of unwanted marquee signing Jason Culina.
Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby said last week that he believed a resolution in the Culina impasse was ‘‘very close’’.
Van Egmond said any signing would ‘‘depend on what’s in the kitty’’, but a January transfer was an option worth exploring.
‘‘It would be about what we could manage and what’s available at that time,’’ he said.
The coach said Burns would be an ideal candidate.
‘‘He’s been one we’ve definitely talked about,’’ he said. ‘‘He’d be a fantastic addition.
‘‘Again, it’s fairly early days and I think there’s a few other clubs involved.
‘‘But Nathan is a quality player – he’s been playing Europa League fairly recently with AEK – so he’d be a fantastic acquisition if something like that could come our way.’’
Burns, who has played seven times for the Socceroos, played 31 games for Adelaide before heading to Greece in 2008.
He has been struggling for game time, but played 63 minutes and scored a goal in AEK’s 3-1 win at Sturm Graz in the Europa League on Wednesday.