Jardel abandons Alaves after less than a month

Updated: February 22, 2005, 4:57 AM ET

MADRID, Feb 22 - Brazilian striker Mario Jardel has broken his contract with Alaves less than a month after signing a deal with the Spanish second division club.

"Mario Jardel has decided to leave Vitoria and return to his home country," Alaves said on their website on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old former Brazil international had signed a private agreement with Alaves until 2007, but could not be registered to play in Spain as he is under contract with Argentine side Newell's Old Boys until June.

The player was trying to get the deal with Newell's annulled because of alleged non-payment of salary.

"Over the last few weeks Alaves have been waiting for Mario Jardel to clarify his legal situation with respect to his contract with Newell's Old Boys," said Alaves. "During that time Mario Jardel has asked for advance payments which the club would not agree to."

Jardel was a prolific scorer at Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Galatasaray, but has been dogged by off-field problems over the last two years. He failed to recover his form during brief spells at Bolton Wanderers, Italian side Ancona and Newell's.

Alaves, who reached the 2001 UEFA Cup final but were relegated two years later, are in fifth place in the second division, five points behind leaders Cadiz.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index