LA Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese says the decision to buy out Giovani dos Santos' contract was for the benefit of all parties concerned.
The club have taken up their off-season option in order to reduce their number of designated players to three ahead of the MLS season, which starts on Saturday.
Dos Santos thanked Galaxy and their fans in a Twitter post after the end of his four-year spell with the club was confirmed.
Te Kloese admits it was a difficult decision but believes it was the right call for all involved.
"He's a player with great talent and a history at the club," he told reporters. "As I've discussed over numerous occasions, we were looking for the best situation for the roster and for the club that means with a lot of respect toward our players that you need to discuss these issues.
"We needed to be roster compliant and we will always be respectful to rules and regulations, and that's something we needed to address. It's a difficult decision, but it's nothing close to a personal decision, it's just a business decision and in the best benefit of everybody and we move on."
Dos Santos was in the final year of the contract he signed when he joined from Villarreal in 2015, which was reportedly worth $6m per year.
He was one of three designated players last year, along with brother Jonathan dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic's improved contract forced Galaxy into jettisoning the Mexico international in order to comply with MLS regulations.
Galaxy face Chicago Fire in their opening game of 2019 on Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park.