JETS coach Arthur Papas is awaiting confirmation of a new signing he believes will complete the strongest contingent of overseas players in Newcastle's A-League history.
The unnamed player, understood to be a defensive midfielder with a knack for scoring goals, would join Olivier Boumal (Colombia), Beka Mikeltadze (Georgia), Olivier Boumal (Cameroon) and Daniel Penha (Brazil) and complete Newcastle's foreign legion for 2021-22.
The Jets have wasted untold millions over the years on imported internationals who made little impression in the A-League.
But Papas was confident that his many hours of due diligence and negotiations would deliver five foreigners capable of giving Newcastle an exciting new dimension.
Asked if they could potentially be the club's best intake of overseas imports, Papas replied: "I'd like to think so.
"I think if you're at this part of the project, you'd better be optimistic about the work you've done.
"They've still got to deliver.
"That's the same whether they're foreign or domestic.
"They've got to deliver on the pitch, as a group, but I'm really optimistic about the age profiles of the foreigners we have coming.
"They're not players who are winding down their careers. All of them have got ambitions for where they're at and where they want to go.
"Pedigree wise, they're all from different levels, but with strong pedigrees ... we want them to have a good experience with us, but more importantly we want them to be part of a successful team."
Papas said it was "very possible" all five overseas players could establish themselves in Newcastle's starting line-up.
"When we've looked at signing players, we haven't really got caught up in the nationalities," he said.
"We've looked at what our needs are and what qualities we're looking for.
"For me, if you can get that domestically, you should try to.
"The trouble is the domestic market is not easy for us to compete in, so we've gone outside that and tried to be really creative.
"So far I'm really pleased with what we've done to bring a really continental team to Newcastle, but also a team with attributes that can take us where we want to go."
Papas said the import he was hoping to sign would be a similar style of player to former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Cameron Devlin.
Devlin signed a two-year deal with Newcastle at the end of last season, but after representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, he jumped ship to Scottish Premier League side Hearts, without ever kicking a ball for the Jets.
"These things sometimes take a little bit longer," Papas said of negotiations.
"But we're very close ... I think the player we're talking to can really add some quality to the team and complement the boys who are already here and doing really well at training."
Papas has also signed a host of up-and-coming A-League players from rival clubs, but he admitted there was sometimes better value for money shopping abroad.
"There are only so many Socceroos," he said. "There are only so many top-tier players. They command serious dollars.
"But that's not to say you can't find equivalent-standard players on the foreign market, and maybe not even play anywhere close to the same amount."
Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere was linked to the Jets but Papas hosed down that prospect.
"We just asked a question, but it didn't really go any further than that," Papas said.