Yet another high-profile name has departed the A-League ahead of schedule, with Melbourne City confirming that Spanish superstar Markel Susaeta has mutually terminated his deal with the club.
An Athletic Bilbao legend, Susaeta joined City in the January transfer window on a six-month contract as a replacement for outgoing Uruguayan Javier Cabrera, going on to make 10 appearances, with nine starts, and score two goals for Head Coach Erick Mombaerts’ side.
But he did not join City in their New South Wales hub and flew back to Spain with his family instead.
We can confirm Markel Susaeta has returned to Spain for family reasons.— Melbourne City FC (at 🏡) (@MelbourneCity) July 14, 2020
The Club would like to thank Markel for his contribution over the past season and wishes him well for the future.
The one time Spanish international and seven-time Basque representative is the second high-profile Spaniard to withdraw from the 2019/20 A-League season, with Perth Glory skipper Diego Castro previously announcing on Tuesday that he was bowing out over concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Unlike his Latin compatriot, though, Castro is contracted for next season.
It was also announced on Monday that Western United star Panagiotis Kone had departed Western United, with The Age subsequently revealing his departure was related to an expected downturn in wages during the 2020/21 season.
Following a series of failed attempts to leave Victoria last week, Melbourne City players have been in a Western Sydney-based hub alongside Melbourne Victory and Western United since Saturday – undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine that has forced a hasty rewrite of the A-League fixture.
A brief scare was sent through the camp when a Melbourne Victory displayed symptoms of COVID-19 and was tested – forcing the rest of the camp into isolation.
However, testing of the player in question returned a negative result for COVID-19, and subsequent testing of the rest of the players and staff in the hub was also negative – allowing the three clubs to begin training on Tuesday.
Players and staff members from the three Melbourne A-League teams have tested negative for COVID-19 and are back training today. @AAPNewswire— Anna Harrington (@AnnaHarrington) July 14, 2020