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Amorebieta heads back to Spain

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.

Amorebieta set for Spanish return?

Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta is wanted Sporting Gijon – but the La Liga outfit want him for free.

Fulham want a fee for the 31-year-old – even a small one despite the fact he is in the last year of his contract.

According to Spanish website El Desmarque , Sporting have offered a three-year deal to the player who joined Whites in summer 2013 from Athletic Bilbao, but spent large chunks of the large two seasons on loan at Middlesbrough.

The 31-year-old has been more miss than hit in his three years on and off at Craven Cottage, while picking up 17 yellow cards with Boro and Fulham as well as four reds.

The Venezuelan international was cruelly exposed in the penultimate match at Brentford where both he and Richard Stearman were exposed for pace in a 3-0 defeat with Bees in the lead by the same score at half time.

Amorebieta made 27 appearances for Fulham and Boro in the Championship last season.

Jokanovic heaps praise on Amorebieta

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic praised Fernando Amorebieta after Fulham’s draw with Derby.

Amorebieta was recalled from a season-long loan at Middlesbrough last week and had not played for the Whites since March last year, but was excellent in a 1-1 draw with the Rams at Craven Cottage.

Jokanovic said: “Fernando is an experienced player. He played for many years at the highest level of football in Spain and he knows the Championship.

“He knows how to compete and I believe he put in a great performance. He could be an important player for us. We expect he can improve our team.

“It’s true that we competed very well throughout the game, and in the second half we moved all the way and began to be brave, but the only happy end is to win the game and we didn’t, so I cannot be happy.”

Fulham endured an uncertain transfer window in which they were under an embargo and received offers for striker Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele.

Jokanovic said: “Speculation is finished and that is important for us in training and in games.

“It’s true it wasn’t an easy January for us, with so much speculation around some of my players. Now it is over, and the job is to think about Fulham and that’s it.”

Amorebieta heads back to Fulham

Fernando Amorebieta has made a dramatic return to Fulham on transfer deadline day.

The Whites defender had been due to remain on loan at the Riverside Stadium for the whole of this season’s Championship campaign.

However, the Craven Cottage club are under transfer embargo and have had to get creative in their dealings in the market this January.

That has meant an early return for the Venezuela international after Fulham decided to cut his stay on Teesside shorter than expected.

Amorebieta will now spend the second half of the campaign back in west London with new manager Slavisa Jokanovic after making 16 appearances for the Teessiders.

Amorebieta sent off in Venezuela defeat

Fernando Amorebieta took the blame for Venezuela’s defeat by Peru that blew Copa America’s Group C wide open last night – after being sent off for stamping on an opponent.

The Fulham defender, who had an outstanding game as the Venezuelans shocked Colombia in their opening fixture, was dismissed after half an hour having stamped on Paulo Guerrero’s knee. The ten men of Venezuela couldn’t hold out for a draw as former Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro scored the winner with eighteen minutes to play.

Amorebieta accepted his red card was the decisive factor after the final whistle:

I did not intend to stand on him but will not criticise the referee because he decides. I can only take the blame because the red card changed the game.