WELSH inernational midfielder Joe Ledley will be back to bolster the Newcastle Jets for the final four games of their A-League campaign, but Irish playmaker Wes Hoolahan will delay any return until the start of next season.
Ledley and Hoolahan, the former English Premier League veterans who have appeared in a combined tally of eight games for Newcastle, both returned to the United Kingdom during the A-League's coronavirus shutdown.
Players at all clubs have now resumed training in preparation for the competition re-start on July 18.
Jets officials were hoping Ledley would board a flight out of the Old Dart on Friday, and the 33-year-old will spend two weeks in hotel quarantine before he is able to rejoin his Newcastle teammates.
Hoolahan, whose wife is expecting their third child in October, has decided to stay in Ireland for the birth but has indicated a desire to return to Newcastle next season, at the age of 38.
Having spent much of his time with the Jets on the sidelines after surgery to repair a pre-season ankle injury, Hoolahan feels he has unfinished business and the club believe his experience and class will be an asset.
Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said Hoolahan was "keen" on going around again next season and the feeling was mutual.
Like Hoolahan, Ledley, who played alongside Newcastle coach Carl Robinson for Wales, is a free agent at the end of this season.
But his decision to return for the last four games of 2019-20 - plus the finals, should Newcastle qualify - suggests he is hoping to extend his tenure.
"It will be up to Carl and Joe to work out," McKinna said. "But Joe's got great experience - he's played 70-odd games for Wales, scored goals in the [European] Champions League - and that last game he played for us when we beat Melbourne City at home, he did very, very well.
"I think he really liked it out here before the league was shut down, and if he's interested in coming back, we're certainly interested."
Meanwhile, McKinna was awaiting confirmation of how many spectators would be allowed to attend Newcastle's remaining home games, against Western United (August 3) and Wellington (August 11).
The Newcastle Knights have been cleared to host 8000 fans when they return to McDonald Jones Stadium for their clash with Parramatta on July 12.
"It's still being worked out, but we're hoping it will be in line with the Knights' crowd," McKinna said.