Las Palmas captain Jonathan Viera ‘flies to Dubai without permission as he seeks lucrative UAE switch’ after falling out with his manager… just months after snubbing summer move
- The 34-year-old is considered the club’s greatest ever player for his long tenure
- Interspersed with spells abroad, Viera has been at Las Palmas since 2005
- Player went through family turmoil after his wife was diagnosed with a tumour
Las Palmas captain Jonathan Viera is believes to have gone AWOL from the side in the bid to force a lucrative transfer, according to reports in Spain.
The player is considered the greatest in the club’s history, having served multiple tenures in the Canary Islands since joining their academy in 2005.
Most recently, the winger signed a five-year contract with his boyhood club in 2021, but with three years left, Viera’s future at Estadio Gran Canaria appears unclear.
As per AS, the player’s wife Estefania underwent successful surgery to remove a tumour on her uterus.
After speaking publicly about his wife’s health condition, Viera is believed to have hinted that there might not be ‘long left for him’ in professional football in light of his personal affairs.
Jonathan Viera (foreground) is believed to have gone AWOL from LaLiga side Las Palmas
The player recently went through personal struggles after his wife Estefania underwent surgery for a tumour on her uterus
But the 34-year-old has been spending swathes of time on the bench at the Canary Island club
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Viera received the support of his president, Miguel Angel Ramirez, who said that he would endorse the club legend’s right to retire whenever the time came.
But according to Marca, Viera was on Wednesday spotted boarding a flight to Dubai – and is rumoured to be looking to force a move to a club in the United Arab Emirates.
Viera was given compassionate leave and permission to fly to visit a doctor in Madrid, with a planned return on Monday – but the club were unaware of plans for international travel.
The Spanish outlet reported that although Viera snubbed a ‘multimillion-dollar’ move to Dubai over the summer, roiling tensions within the club, and with head coach Garcia Pimienta in particular, he is keen to restart talks.
Pimienta has overlooked Viera a number of times this season, but shut down rumours of a feud last week as he threw his support behind the player as news broke about his wife’s health issues.
‘First of all, Jony has passed for some complicated moment,’ Pimienta said. ‘He knows that he has our full support and now the most important thing is the health of his wife. I’m sure they will move forward and with the support of all of us, everything will go well.’
But the coach remained adamant that Viera would only make it back into the matchday squad when Pimienta deemed him worthy of the call-up.
Viera is considered a club icon at the institution he first joined as a youth player in 2005
Las Palmas head coach Garcia Pimienta has claimed that the captain is ‘just another player’
‘I feel bad saying this, but Jonathan Viera, like the rest, is just another player on the squad. When he considers that he is the best for the squad, like the rest, he will enter the call, participate and help us for sure.
‘The only thing that matters to me is that (Las Palmas avoids relegation), it doesn’t matter to me exactly if someone says that they are leaving, that they are staying, if they want to leave because they don’t have minutes and want to play.’
Las Palmas currently sit 10th in LaLiga following a win against Almeria on Saturday.
They will next face third-place Atletico Madrid on Friday.
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