Jonas Gutierrez looks set to miss out on a farewell appearance for Newcastle as a he nears a return to former club Velez Sarsfield.
Gutierrez, 31, has been building fitness with Newcastle's Under-21s since returning to the North East in December after being given the all-clear from testicular cancer, but is now back in Argentina hoping to finalise a deal with his childhood club.
The 22-times capped international is out of contract in the summer, and was linked with a €1 million move to Napoli last month, per calciomercato, with the Premier League club said to have been willing to cash in on his signature.
Having been out of first-team action since finishing last season on loan at Norwich, Newcastle fans had hoped to see the popular winger make a final outing at St James’ Park, with Gutierrez telling the Mail last month: “Yes, I have played in a World Cup, but if I play again for Newcastle then that will be the best moment of my career.
“To get back after the cancer and chemotherapy, to put all of that behind me, would be a huge moment for me. It would be emotional.
“If I come back and play for Newcastle then for me it will be the best.”
However, Velez are now pushing to complete a deal before the transfer window in Argentina closes later this week, with talks said to be at an advanced stage.
Gutierrez has established himself as a firm fan favourite at Newcastle since arriving from Real Mallorca in 2008, scoring 11 goals in 194 total appearances, while helping the club back to the top-flight following their 2009 relegation.