August 9, 2018 / 6:06 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Defender Fernandez swaps Swansea for Newcastle

(Reuters) - Newcastle United signed defender Federico Fernandez from Championship side Swansea City on Thursday, minutes before the transfer window closed in England.

Soccer Football - Premier League - AFC Bournemouth vs Swansea City - Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, Britain - May 5, 2018 Swansea City's Federico Fernandez looks dejected after the match REUTERS/David Klein

Fernandez is Newcastle’s seventh close season addition and has been given a two-year contract. He joined Swansea in 2014 and made more than 100 Premier League appearances for the Welsh club, who were relegated last season.

The Argentine played under Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez before joining Swansea, when the latter was in charge of Italian side Napoli.

"I know Federico well... and it was an easy decision to bring him here," Benitez told Newcastle's website here. "He is experienced, a very good professional and he will add competition in defence."

Neither club disclosed the fee paid for the 29-year-old, but local media reported it to be in the region of 6 million pounds ($7.7 million).

“It was a long day but I’m really happy to be here,” Fernandez said. “It’s a new challenge in my life and I’m very excited to meet all the players and staff here.”

($1 = 0.7783 pounds)

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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