After a couple of weeks filled with speculation and photo opportunities in Qatar, the Alvaro Fernandez loan deal to Al-Rayyan has been finalized. In the press release Fire President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon cited Fernandez' desire to improve his standing in the Uruguayan National Team picture as a big factor in the move. “Flaco was interested in exploring options abroad in search of national team playing time and this situation allows him that opportunity,” said Leon.
It should be noted that Al Rayyan's manager Diego Aguirre has a history with Fernandez and is close to Uruguayan National Team coach Oscar Tabarez. The thought of advancing with his country's national side via Qatar may seem a bit odd at first glance but Fernandez will have an opportunity to play for a coach he has a history with and has ties to the national side while escalating his salary. If he plays well enough to earn a longer stay and increase his compensation the Fire will benefit from a possible buy out option.
It's possible Fernandez returns to the Fire after the initial six month loan to Al-Rayyan expires but it seems they are preparing to move forward without him. The club is looking at different options at the left midfield spot. Moving Fernandez also leaves the Fire with one occupied designated player spot on the active roster and frees up salary budget space.