WES Hoolahan has unfinished business at the Newcastle Jets.
Hoolahan and his family flew home to Ireland on Sunday. His wife, Emma, is pregnant with their third child and is due in October.
Hoolahan is unlikely to return for the Jets' four remaining games, which are set to be played in July.
However, the man known as the Irish Messi is "keen" to return next season and had preliminary talks with Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna before departing.
"Wes is keen to come back next season," McKinna said. "This season didn't pan out how he would have liked in terms of the ankle injury. He was great around the boys and an excellent professional.
"His family enjoyed Newcastle and they are keen to come back. His wife is due in October. I can't see the 2020-21 season starting until after October so it might be good timing."
Boasting superb vision and a silky touch, Hoolahan dded a new dimension to the Jets attack in the pre-season.
His combination with Dimi Petratos had the potential to be one of the most lethal in the league.
However, Hoolahan suffered a serious ankle syndesmosis injury in the loss to Adelaide United in the quarter-final of the FFA Cup in September.
The former Norwich legend was sidelined until February but returned to make five appearances, helping the Jets to three wins and a draw in that time.
"Wes is interested in coming back. Carl is interested in getting him back, so that's a good start."- Lawrie McKinna
Supremely fit, Hoolahan turns 38 on Wednesday. He is on a modest contract at the Jets in comparison to his resume, which includes 43 caps for Ireland, the last of which was in 2017.
McKinna said the Jets would not be in a position to table an offer to Hoolahan - or anyone else - until the salary cap is finalised. That will hinge on talks between the FFA and Foxtel over the final three years of the $60 million-a-year broadcast deal.
"We haven't tabled anything to Wes," McKinna said. "Wes is interested in coming back. Carl is interested in getting him back, so that's a good start."
Robinson said in March that Hoolahan was still "passionate" about the game and the sort of player he wanted at the club.
But the coach is also mindful that the midfielder is in the twilight of his career the Jets want to be a club that gives young players opportunities.
As well as the salary cap, McKinna is awaiting clarity on the number of visa spots for next season, which currently sits at five.
Striker Roy O'Donovan is the only foreigner contracted beyond this season.
However, he is expected to have Australian citizenship by the start of the new campaign.
"Roy has qualified for it, but he hasn't received it yet," McKinna said. "Once everything is approved, you have to wait for a citizenship ceremony, then you are an Aussie. All the paperwork is done and he should have it by the start of next season."
The Jets are expected to return to training next month, with the A-League to resume in July. As well as Hoolahan, on-loan left wingback Bobby Burns, who is back at Scottish club Hearts, is unlikely to return for the final four games.
However, McKinna said there was a slight chance that Welsh midfielder Joe Ledley could be on deck.
"Joe said he would be interested in coming back, but it would depend if we could get him back."