In what is one of the more surprising transfers in Argentine football this season, Jonás Gutiérrez is poised to sign a one-year deal with Primera División side Defensa y Justicia after his contract with Deportivo La Coruña expired this summer.
The 33-year-old is expected to sign with El Halcón on Tuesday after club president José Lemme admitted that an agreement has already been reached and “everything is set.”
Gutiérrez struggled for regular playing time in La Liga last season and so a return to Argentina always looked a possibility but what appeared more likely was a move back to Vélez Sarsfield, where his career began, or a transfer to San Lorenzo, which had been rumoured in the press for some weeks.
However, Defensa y Justicia look set to sign the former Argentina international and add some much needed experience to Ariel Holán’s youthful assembly of loanees.
Gutiérrez will be eager to get back on the pitch having endured a terrible few years which has limited his playing time and may yet be able to contribute a great deal to a Defensa y Justicia side, that were excellent during the Torneo Transición but have lost a number of key players ahead of his season.
El Galgo was a key part of Newcastle United’s previous promotion campaign from the second tier of English football and was famously one of the first names on Diego Maradona’s Argentina team sheet during the 2010 World Cup campaign.
A lot has happened since then including a successful fight with testicular cancer and a resulting legal battle with Newcastle over his treatment and despite spending last season in Spain, Gutiérrez had to make do with a bit-part in Deportivo’s plans.
A return to first team action will come as a great relief to the popular midfielder and although it isn’t clear how Gutiérrez will fit into Ariel Holán’s plans, one thing is certain and that is that Defensa y Justicia will get 100% commitment from a player that has never given anything less.