Newcastle today agreed to release Chilean midfielder Clarence Acuna from his contract to allow him to return home and look after his sick mother.
The 28-year-old – one of five men told they could leave St James’ Park at the end of last season – will be a free agent once the transfer window re-opens in January.
Speaking as he prepared to put his players through their paces at NAC Breda’s MyCom Stadium in Holland tonight ahead of their UEFA Cup tie, manager Bobby Robson said: “By mutual consent, we’ve agreed to pay up his contract and we’ve allowed him to go home.
“His mother’s not very well, he’s very concerned about her. She’s had some heart problems and had an operation and he’s very anxious about her.
“It means by doing so, he can go home and can look after her and having done that, he will be free maybe if he wants to continue his career.
“And I’m sure that he will after a while, he can take up an opportunity with another club when the window re-opens.”
Acuna, a signing from Universidad de Chile in October 2000, has made 58 appearances for the Magpies and scored seven goals.
His departure comes just hours after United confirmed full-back Wayne Quinn has made his loan move to First Division West Ham permanent.