JONAS Gutierrez is back at Newcastle United – and looking to make an emotional comeback.
Gutierrez’s expected return to Velez Sarsfield in his native Argentina broke down last week. And the 31-year-old returned to Tyneside yesterday.
The Gazette reported last week that the proposed transfer was in the balance, and a deal couldn’t be reached before the Argentinian transfer window closed over the weekend.
Gutierrez started his career at Velez Sarsfield, and trained at the club late last year after being given the all-clear following treatment for testicular cancer.
Gutierrez will now leave the club on a free transfer in the summer when his contract runs out.
The Argentina international – who was inundated with messages of support from across the world after revealing he was fighting cancer – last month told of his ambition to make a comeback for United, the club he has served for the past six-and-a-half years.
“I have played in a World Cup, but if I play again for Newcastle then that will be the best moment of my career,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez has played in two league games for United’s Under-21s, and he hopes to return to head coach John Carver’s matchday squad and play a part in the remaining few months of the season.
Carver said last month that Gutierrez was edging himself closer to a return with every reserve-team outing.
“He’s getting fitter and stronger – it’s part of his process,” said Carver. “I’m liaising with him all the time.
“Players know better than I do in terms of fitness, but he is about two or three weeks away from pushing for a first-team place.”
Carver and his squad yesterday started preparations for Saturday’s game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the game could come too soon for Gutierrez, who yesterday posted a photograph of himself on Twitter on a Newcastle-bound flight from London’s Heathrow Airport.