SWISS defender Dominik Ritter has called a new one-year deal tabled by the Jets “not good enough” and is likely to return to Europe at the end of the A-League campaign.
NOT ENOUGH: Dominik Ritter is awaiting a new bid from the Jets. Picture: Getty Images
The 23-year-old left-sided defender is one of five Jets players whose future remains up in the air.
Reborn striker Michael Bridges is in talks about a dual role that includes working with the Emerging Jets Program.
Negotiations are also continuing with marquee striker Emile Heskey.
Brazilian Bernardo Ribeiro and striker Marko Jesic, who have featured sparingly, are unlikely to be offered new deals.
Ritter, 23, has made 16 appearances, the last four in the centre of defence, since joining the Jets from Swiss club Winterthur and is keen to stay.
“We had discussions and the club made an offer but it was not quite what I was looking for, especially with my situation as a foreign player and being from the other side of the world,” he said.
“I told the club I can’t and will not accept the offer.”
The Jets policy is not to discuss contract talks but sources have told the Herald that the offer was an upgrade on his current deal.
“If they come up with another offer in a couple of weeks we will see,” he said.
“All I know is that the offer they made was not good enough for me.
“Of course I am looking to further my career and keep playing football.
“If it is not here in Newcastle, if it is not in Australia, somewhere else in Europe. But everything is still open, there is no final decision yet.”
Ritter has two games, both must-win encounters, to convince coach Gary van Egmond that he is worth more money.
After starting the season at left back, he is now the preferred partner for Connor Chapman in the heart of defence.
“For me, it really doesn’t matter if I play left back or left stopper,” he said.
“I have played both positions all through my career.
“When you play centre back, you have the whole game in front of you.
“There is no line, you have to play both sides. As a fullback you can attack more and it is completely different.
“I have played both positions, so it’s no problem.”
Ritter said the Jets had bounced back well from the last-gasp 2-1 loss to the Glory.
“We have to stay focused,” he said. “We need two wins to make the finals.
“Of course, we have to look at the game and what went wrong. But we have to look forward and take confidence into the next game.”
Captain Ruben Zadkovich and Bridges did not train on Sunday and were on light duties on Monday.
However, they are not in doubt for Friday’s crunch match at Hindmarsh Stadium.
“It is a matter of making sure they are fresh,” Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said. “For Ruben, especially, it has been a long year. The amount of work he gets through week to week.”
Zenon Caravella continued his progress back from a hamstring injury and will resume full training tomorrow.