Rivaldo has stunned AEK Athens by announcing that he is leaving the Greek club after just one season to join an unnamed Asian side.
Greek media reports indicated his new club would be the Uzbekistan side Bunyodkor, who last month claimed they had signed Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o.
“It was a difficult decision to make but I have received an offer that is very good for my career,” the World Cup winner told Greek radio station Novosport FM.
“I had a great time at AEK. I thank the president and the fans but the offer is very good for me and my family.
“It is a very good proposal and I cannot turn it down. I would like to ask for a million apologies because there is so little time in the transfer window for the club to replace me but it was an exceptional proposal.”
AEK, however, insist that Rivaldo will not leave unless coach Georgos Donis can sign a replacement.
“Rivaldo wants to leave but in spite of what he says, he remains under contract to AEK until the end of this season and will only go if the club gets a replacement,” a club spokesman told Reuters.
“If he does go it will be with a transfer fee and not as a free transfer.”