After all the fanfare and hype surrounding his arrival, it seems like Pablo Aimar's time at Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) is set to come to an end - on the pitch, at least.
The Argentinian superstar was brought to Southeast Asia by the big-spending Malaysia Super League (MSL) at the start of the season, signing a five-year contract that made him the highest paid player in the country. The first two years of that deal was for a playing one, with the remaining three for him to transition to coaching after he retired.
The 34-year-old former Argentina international and Benfica playmaker thrilled crowds in his first few matches with his effortless grace and sublime skill, before injury struck. An Achilles tendon injury meant that he has only played five MSL games so far and word is that JDT is considering terminating his playing contract early.
“Aimar’s injury is a problem and even though it is not serious, we fear that it may become chronic," sources have told the New Straits Times.
"He had this injury before with his previous club Benfica. We will assess his condition and give him a week to show any progress. We may choose to de-register him but he will still remain at the club and prepare for next season as he has a five-year-contract with us.”
It is understood that the Southern Tigers will decide on the issue in one week's time, as they need to find a replacement for Aimar before the tranfer window closes on April 22.
Former Chelsea and West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka was linked with JDT, but has since signed for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.
Touted as title contenders, JDT are currently struggling in the MSL despite recruiting a star-studded side prior to the season, languishing in sixth after 11 games.