Reds winger returning to Denmark

23 May 2018 03:15:43 EST

Johan Absalonsen has left Adelaide United after just one season to return to his native Denmark.

The winger, who has won two caps for Denmark, turned down a new and improved contract with the Reds and is returning to his former club, SønderjyskE Fodbold, with whom he played five seasons before signing for United last year.

The 32-year-old made 16 appearances across all competitions for the Reds last season, providing a goal threat.

He netted six times in the A-League, where he made eight starts and three substitute appearances.

The Dane scored in three consecutive games in March, helping United pick up a 1-1 draw against Melbourne City and beat both Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix.

Adelaide general manager of football Ante Kovacevic said: "It is unfortunate to be losing Johan after last season. There's no denying that it was a difficult season for Johan because he had some big injuries that kept him off the pitch for a long time.

"We were open with Johan in wanting to keep him and offered him a new contract, but he has chosen to return home because of his family and we can understand the difficulties that come with moving so far away from home."

He added: "This does open the door for further recruitment, which is exciting as we continue to plan for the upcoming season and beyond."

Another player out of contract at United who is in demand is left-back Ben Garuccio. The 22-year-old is a target for Scottish side Hearts, who are hoping to sign him to a pre-contract agreement.

Garuccio, who has represented Australia at under-20 and under-23 level, has been with his hometown club United since 2016.

Adelaide are 12/1 to win the 2019 A-League Grand Final, while United are 20/1 to win the Premier's Plate.

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