February 13, 2018 / 4:01 PM / 9 days ago

Struggling Las Palmas braced for departure of captain Viera

BARCELONA (Reuters) - La Liga strugglers Las Palmas have begun to show signs of life in their last few games but just as the battle to avoid relegation heats up, they look set to lose influential captain Jonathan Viera who has received a lucrative offer from China.

Reports in the Spanish media say Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Guoan are offering Las Palmas 20 million euros ($24.7 million) for the 28-year-old and will give the striker, who has scored four goals and provided three assists this season, a vast improvement on the salary he currently earns.

“I‘m sincerely torn because I can’t say no to the offer they have made me, it’s an offer that will set all of my family up for life so naturally I’ve got a lot on my mind,” locally born forward Viera told a news conference on Tuesday.

“On the other hand the team’s predicament breaks my heart but these things happen. But the team existed before me and if I leave, the world isn’t going to end.”

Las Palmas have already parted ways with two managers this campaign but are making steady progress under latest appointment Paco Jemez, taking seven points in their last four league games to move up to 18th in the standings and within two points of safety.

“The situation is in the clubs hands and I‘m waiting to see what happens,” added Viera.

“We all know it’s a very complicated situation, we know this is a unique opportunity, not just for me but the club too. I hope it gets resolved in the best way for everyone.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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