Motherwell FC can today confirm it has reluctantly allowed midfielder Stephen Pearson to join Indian Super League side Atlético de Kolkata.
Lanark-born Pearson, who turns 34 in October, was under contract until next May, and as such, the club have been compensated for releasing him.
Two long-term injuries (knee and rib) restricted the influential former Scotland International to 28 appearances in all competitions last term, pitching in with an important ten goals (eight in the SPFL Premiership and two against Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup).
Pearson will join the ISL side, who are owned and are a franchise of La Liga outfit Atlético de Madrid, for their four-month 2016 season that runs between September and December.
‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “We are desperately disappointed to lose Stephen, but we’ve known for some time now that this move was on the cards.
[pullquote]It was very much our first option that the player remained at Motherwell, but when we spoke with Pearo it was clear he really wanted to go over there.[/pullquote]
“There was absolutely no fall out, it was all extremely amicable, and we understand his personal circumstances. He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Motherwell FC.
“However, it was then incumbent upon us to try and recoup something to help us find someone else, and that’s what we’ve done. We have been and are engaged in trying to secure a replacement and the midfield area is our priority.”
Pearson added: “This was something I was really keen to do and I want to thank everyone at Motherwell for the way they’ve handled this.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I go, but at the same time, I am confident the club is in decent shape, with a very good manager and some exciting young talent bubbling under the surface waiting to get their chance, alongside the excellent senior professionals already there.
“I’ve enjoyed my second spell at Fir Park; I want to thank the fans for all their support and who knows, one day I may be back for another go at it.”