Leeds United hero Pablo Hernandez makes emotional return to hometown club Castellon
Leeds United hero Pablo Hernandez has made an emotional return to boyhood club CD Castellon.
The former Whites playmaker has signed a three-year deal with the team he remains a shareholder of after helping the club stave off insolvency in 2017.
Hernandez left West Yorkshire this summer after a five-year stay at Elland Road where he played a key role in helping Leeds return to the Premier League following 16 years away.
The 36-year-old began his career as a youth player with his hometown side - who currently play in the third tier of Spanish football following relegation last term - before making the move to La Liga giants Valencia.
Hernandez has now opted to move back home after 20 years away to represent the team where his career began in the wake of his release from Leeds.
He was close to returning in January but the Whites opted to retain his services for the remainder of the campaign before agreeing to terminate his contract a year early.
Reports in Spain say Hernandez has turned down more lucrative offers to play for Castellon - the club he now looks set to end his playing days with.
A club statement said: "CD Castellón has reached an agreement with Pablo Hernández whereby the international midfielder for Spain and more than 400 matches in the elite becomes an Albinegro player for the next three seasons, until June 30, 2024.
"Pablo has been linked to the club since 2017 as a shareholder, when Vicente Montesinos assumed the presidency of the entity in the Third Division, a key moment in history with the club at risk of disappearance.
"Now, still with a lot of magic in his boots, he becomes the franchise player in the premiere at the First RFEF. In the next few days, Pablo Hernández will be officially presented to the media."
The announcement of Hernandez's signature came on the club's 99th birthday as they kick off their centenary year.