The Chicago Fire could be without steady midfielder Álvaro Fernández until the summer if a reported deal goes through that would send the World Cup veteran to Qatari side Al-Rayyan on a six-month loan.
Sport 890 Radio in Uruguay is reporting that Fernández is the subject of a potential loan deal that appears to be all but done, barring a routine physical exam.
“The negotiations have advanced and only routine matters are left, like the medical tests,” Al-Rayyan head coach Diego Aguirre told Sport 890 Radio on Monday. “[The deal] will be finalized and it will help us a lot. [Fernández] debuted in Atenas of San Carlos and from there he went to Montevideo Wanderers, when I was coaching the team back in 2007. After that, he made an incredible soccer career becoming an international with Uruguay.
“I consider him a big professional,” Aguirre added, “and he plays really well, too.”
The Chicago Fire declined to comment when contacted by MLSsoccer.com on Monday.
Fernández, 27, joined the Fire in July in a trade with the Seattle Sounders for allocation money. He appeared in 13 games (12 starts) for Chicago after the trade and notched two goals and an assist, and started the team’s only postseason game.
He joined the Sounders as a Designated Player in July 2010, shortly after featuring prominently in Uruguay’s run to the semfinal of the World Cup. He scored nine goals in 29 appearances in Seattle in 2011, the best year of his MLS career to date, but he became expendable when the Sounders acquired German midfielder Christian Tiffert last July.
“The level of international players that come [to Al-Rayyan] is high,” Aguirre told Sport 890 Radio. “The Africans are starters for their national teams and there are good Brazilian players, too. The competition here is really great and the possibility of signing Álvaro emerged. He is a player that I know very well. It is good to bring a Uruguayan player here.”
Fernández, for his part, tweeted on Monday that "today started with a new direction!"
Bueno hoy arrancamos con nuevo rumbo!!!— flaco_fernandez (@flaco_fernandez) January 14, 2013