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'I do not want to hurt them' - Ortega vows to stay away from River Plate

Ariel Ortega has revealed that he will not be reporting for pre-season training at River Plate, adding that he hopes to make a clean and dignified exit from the club which saw him start his professional career.

El Burrito, 38, still has a year remaining on his contract at the Monumental, but successive River coaches have declared him surplus to requirements following public battles with alcoholism and poor discipline.

The player spent the first six months of 2011 on loan at Primera Division side All Boys, before being once more farmed out to third-tier Defensores de Belgrano for the entire 2011-12 season.

Now a River player, Ortega has not spoken to either coach Matias Almeyda nor president Daniel Passarella, and has no intention of trying to regain his place with the Millo, as they prepare for a return to Argentina's top division.

"I am not going to turn up for training," he explained to C5N on Tuesday evening.

"I do not want marches or cameras. I do not want to hurt River, I want to leave in the best possible way.

"I hope I can continue playing. If not, I will try to have a farewell match in River."

The former Parma and Valencia man is hoping to settle a debt of $250,000 (204,000) dating back to the previous administration, in order to secure an amicable departure from River.

Capped 87 times for Argentina, Ariel won five national titles and the 1996 Copa Libertadores during his time in Buenos Aires.