Fulham agrees on deal to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Amorebieta

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Fulham agrees on deal to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Amorebieta
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Fulham agrees on deal to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Amorebieta
Fulham has agreed a deal to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta in the summer.

The Venezuelan center back, who came close to joining Arsenal on the last day of the January window, is set to move to Craven Cottage when his contract expires at the end of the season. Amorebieta rejected fresh terms at Athletic Bilbao earlier in 2013 to push for a move to the Premier League and bring an end to the 28-year-old's eight-year spell at the Spanish club.

Arsenal dropped its interest after failing to push through a deal on deadline day but Fulham took advantage of his availability to land a notable free transfer. Russian big-spender Anzhi was believed to have been one of the other clubs closely pursuing the Venezuela international.

Amorebieta represented Spain at the Under-19 level and was called up to the senior squad in 2008 but changed his affiliation and chose to play for the country of his birth. The defender had been eligible for Athletic as his parents are Basque and he was raised in the region.

Amorebieta will bring a great pedigree to the Fulham defense next season, which was recently boosted by captain Brede Hangeland's decision to sign a new two-year contract.

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