Reds prepare for Mauk exit, new signings

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  • Stefan Mauk

Adelaide United are bracing for skipper Stefan Mauk to depart for Japan at the end of January but will welcome two upcoming signings.

Mauk confirmed he was looking at an offer from a second-tier J2 League club in Japan, reported to be Fagiano Okayama.

If his paperwork goes through, the 26-year-old midfielder will depart later this month.

"I've had a good offer from a Japanese club and its something that I guess I wasn't looking for but it obviously came up," Mauk told Network Ten.

"I've always wanted to test myself back overseas so I'm pretty excited if it goes through."

After Saturday's 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory, Mauk stressed he was focused on Adelaide.

"At the moment, he should be with us until the end of January and if he does decide to go, then it'll be after then," stand-in coach Ross Aloisi said.

"But that's about as much as we know at the moment."

Asked if Mauk had sealed an agreement yet, he added: "As far as I know, no."

Adelaide last week lost winger Ben Halloran to a move to South Korea while Kusini Yengi's serious quad injury has left a hole up top, with George Blackwood still gaining fitness.

"We're almost playing without a number nine but that's the way it is at the moment," Aloisi said.

"Both our strikers are missing, Mohamed Toure's out with COVID and Yengi's out for three-to-four months.

"But we're hopeful that we get the foreign striker coming in very soon and the Aussie player on Monday or Tuesday.

"We got a little bit lucky with the striker and hopefully he'll be in soon and we've heard that he'll fit right in."

Aloisi wouldn't be drawn on either the identity of the foreign striker or the Australian signing.

Toure is set to return from COVID-19 on January 10.

Meanwhile, Victory were without Marco Rojas, Jason Davidson, Chris Ikonomidis, Francesco Margiotta, Matthew Spiranovic, Leigh Broxham, Robbie Kruse and Stefan Nigro.

The club confirmed Davidson, Spiranovic and Ikonomidis were injured while "a number of players" were sidelined due to COVID protocols.

"We don't feel concerned about any particular player," coach Tony Popovic said of those in COVID protocols, while he hoped the injured trio would be closer to a return for their next match.

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