Former Newcastle United player’s release ‘confirmed’ with nine-word statement after Leeds loss

Federico Fernandez is looking for a new club once again, just three months after leaving Newcastle United.

The 33-year-old centre-back left Newcastle to join La Liga side Elche on deadline day back in September, signing a one-year deal. Fernandez hadn’t started a match under Eddie Howe with the second half of his 2021-22 campaign blighted by injury before leaving the club.

But since arriving in Spain, Fernandez has been limited to just one appearance so far this season with his fitness issues continuing into the current season. As a result, Elche have negotiated an early exit from Fernandez’s contract.

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Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion at St. James Park on March 05, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion at St. James Park on March 05, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion at St. James Park on March 05, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
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Elche currently sit bottom of the Spanish top division and are winless after 14 matches – just as Newcastle were last season. Following a 2-1 friendly defeat to Premier League side Leeds United during the World Cup break this month, Elche head coach Pablo Machin effectively confirmed the release of Fernandez and his Argentinian compatriot Javier Pastore.

In reference to Pastore and Fernandez’s contracts, Machin told reporters during a press conference: “You know there have been a couple of casualties."

Elche are still yet to officially confirm the pair’s release but both are understood to be free to find new clubs for the second half of the 2022-23 season.

Despite limited game time during his final season on Tyneside, Fernandez remains a respected figure amongst most Newcastle supporters given his consistent defensive displays during tough times at the club. Fernandez made 89 appearances for The Magpies over four seasons, scoring twice.