x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

We tried to stop Valdivia from going, reveals Al Ain manager

Jorge Valdivia's decision to leave Al Ain earlier this week came as a huge shock to the club, said Majed al Owais, the team manager.

AL AIN // Jorge Valdivia's decision to leave Al Ain earlier this week came as a huge shock to the club, said Majed al Owais, the team manager. The Chilean playmaker left the Pro League club's pre-season training camp in Austria on Wednesday to fly to Brazil and re-sign for the Palmeiras club. "We tried our best to keep him for the upcoming season at least, but he was adamant he wanted to leave," the team manager told the club's official website.

"His decision came as a shock to us because he never mentioned a move until midway through our training camp. The reason he gave us was to be close to his family. We have also provided him with all the options, but he insisted he wanted to leave. "And that's when we decided to let him go. We don't want to keep a player if he wasn't happy to serve us. He has left us with too little time to find a suitable replacement, but we'll try to sign up to fill his void."

Valdivia, 26, returned to the club he left in 2008 to join Al Ain, where he won the Presidents Cup, Super Cup and Etisalat Cup in two seasons in the Emirates. "I met with the team to say goodbye to my colleagues and the technical staff," he told the Brazilian club's website. "I enjoyed a good period with Al Ain but I had certain issues which prevented me from staying with the team." apassela@thenational.ae