Newcastle United forward move confirmed by club after permanent transfer snub

Santos Laguna have officially confirmed the return of young forward Santiago Munoz from his loan at Newcastle United.

Munoz was the final signing of the Mike Ashley era at Newcastle as he joined on loan from the Liga MX side with an option to make the deal permanent in January 2023. But with the 20-year-old hit by various injuries during his time on Tyneside and failing to make a competitive first-team appearance, The Magpies decided not to extend his stay.

Munoz made one first team friendly appearance last summer as he came off the bench for Callum Wilson in the closing stages of the 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. But he struggled to maintain a place in Newcastle’s Under-21s side.

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The Mexican youngster made just two starts for Newcastle’s second string side this season and was limited to just 13 appearances for the Young Magpies in total since arriving in August 2021. His signing was given plenty of attention due to his name being similar to fictional Newcastle player Santiago Munez from the movie Goal!

Although Munoz returned to Mexico at the start of January following the end of his loan at Newcastle, Santos Laguna only confirmed the move this week in a club statement.

The statement, translated from Spanish, read: “After concluding his loan period with Newcastle United of the Premier League, striker Santiago Muñoz reported to the ranks of Club Santos Laguna.

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is substituted for Santiago Munoz during the pre season friendly match between Newcastle United and Athletic Bilbao at St James' Park on July 30, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“The 20-year-old youth is already working at the Territorio Santos Modelo facilities, focused on his rehabilitation and physical conditioning plan.”

Munoz’s long-term future at Santos Laguna looks uncertain given his ongoing fitness problems.