Real Betis have offered to release Brazilian striker Edu from his contract after he hit out at the Seville-based club over his treatment following an injury.
The 29-year-old Brazilian, whose contract is set to end in the summer, was one of Betis' best players last season, scoring 12 times in 29 league appearances and accounting for almost a third of all the club's goals.
He was ruled out for a month and a half at the end of October due to a recurrence of a leg injury and travelled to Finland in order to undergo surgery on the problem.
This morning he held a press conference criticising Betis officials for their handling of the operation, claiming the club had told him to undergo the surgery but had not paid his travel expenses nor covered his medical costs.
Following his comments Betis released a statement on their website, www.realbetisbalompie.es, informing Edu he was free to negotiate a move to any other club, but stressed "the doors to Real Betis remain open" should he wish to stay.
It read: "Following the announcement made by Mr Luis Eduardo Schmidt (Edu) today in which he expresses his discontent with certain aspects of the management of Real Betis Balompie, the club would like to inform him that from today he has complete freedom to sign for any other club even though his contract with this club is not set to end until June 30, 2009.
"The club would also like to remind him that the doors to Real Betis remain open to him, and that the club keeps open its offer of 1,500,000 euros net per season for the next three years, which can be signed by him tomorrow if he so wishes, and which would mean a total cost of seven million euros to the club over the next three years."
This morning Edu told reporters: "(Betis club doctor) Dr Calero told me the operation was the best solution for me to get over my problems, but I've had to pay for all the travelling and the operation myself."