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Fernando Amorebieta has returned to Spain after Sporting Gijon completed a permanent deal with Fulham for the central defender, believed to be worth around £500,000.

The Venezuelan international struggled for both form and fitness in his first season at Craven Cottage, which saw the Whites slip out of the Premier League. Amorebieta was hardly a regular in the side after that – with his most eye-catching performances coming in two loan spells with Middlesbrough, during one of which he scored a crucial away goal in the play-off semi-final at Brentford.

Amorebieta, who signed for Fulham on a Bosman deal from Athletic Bilbao in 2013, had been linked with Newcastle as well as a host of Spanish sides after Slavisa Jokanovic embarked on radical defensive surgery designed to shore up his charges ahead of the new season. The 31 year-old, who played in 50 games for the London club, chose Sporting over Alaves and is likely to be a first choice for his new employers after they sold two centre backs during the close season.