Mallorca query Gutierrez's Newcastle move

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The Independent Football

Some clarification of Newcastle United's new signing Jonas Gutierrez's contractual position, came from his native Argentina yesterday.

Real Mallorca, Gutierrez's previous club, are examining the legalities of the winger's move to Tyneside having seen him cancel his contract on Tuesday. But Velez Sarsfield, Gutierrez's first club, have said that they own part of Gutierrez's Mallorca contract and that he was due to return to them unless another European club stepped in.

"Jonas Gutierrez was due to return to Velez Sarsfield on 1 July in accordance with the contract signed with Mallorca, owners of 50 per cent of his economic rights," said Velez president Alvaro Balestrini. "After three seasons on loan at Mallorca he would have had to come back to Velez if Newcastle had not come in."

Gutierrez's mother was rather more frank. "In January Mallorca had the opportunity to sell him to Portsmouth, but they let the chance pass due to a bad administrative manoeuvre on the part of Mallorca's Sporting director, Nando Pons," she said.

Another player who is no stranger to contractual difficulties, Liverpool's midfielder, Javier Mascherano, has been named in Argentina's Olympic squad.

Club manager Rafael Benitez had expressed concerns about losing such an important player for up to a month from late July and had hoped Mascherano, as an over-age player, would opt not to compete.

But the 24-year-old has been named in Sergio Batista's 18-man party along with other high-profile players such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Juan Roman Riquelme.

Liverpool youngster Emiliano Insua – who yesterday signed a new long-term contract with the Reds – will remain on Batista's standby list.