A-League: Adelaide United keen to bring Stefan Mauk home

Adelaide United’s hopes of bringing Stefan Mauk back to the club hang in the balance, with the former Reds skipper still hopeful of returning to Asia.

Currently in Adelaide and training with United after parting ways with Japanese second division outfit Fagiano Okayama, 28-year-old midfielder Mauk is wanted by the Reds, who also hope to sign a striker during the transfer window, which opened on Wednesday.

However, the former Australian under-23 international – who left the Reds in February 2022 to move to Japan – is still exploring other options in Asia.

“A J1 club in Japan would be my preference, but there’s also South Korea and the Middle East to look at,” said Mauk, who has also attracted interest from Poland.

Mauk has told the Reds that if he returned to the A-League, they would have the first crack at his services.

“I’m 28 now and coming into my prime as a player so I want to make sure the next contract I sign is the right one,” he said.

Reds coach Carl Veart said Mauk had been a highly valued player in Adelaide, who were keen to get him back.

“We’re waiting to hear what he wants to do because we know he’s keen to play in Asia again.” Veart said.

The Adelaide mentor said the club would remain patient with Mauk because after Saturday night’s Unite Round clash with Sydney FC, the Reds don’t play again until January 25 due to their scheduled battle with Western United on Saturday week being postponed due to Western not having a ground available that day.

“Even if we’d have signed him this week, he probably would have been cleared and ready in time for this weekend’s game,” Veart said.

“Not playing next weekend means we’ve got some time on our side.”

Veart said a signing striker, most likely a foreigner, was also in Adelaide’s plans during the transfer window.

“We need to be scoring more goals,” he said.

Japanese forward Hiroshi Ibusuki’s Adelaide contract expires at the end of the season.

“He’s keen to stay with us and we’ll see how negotiations develop,” Veart said.

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