Bidding war will soon begin for one of the brightest young talents in Europe.
Chelsea Tickets available from Telegraph Tickets
Bet on Chelsea with Sportingbet.com and get a free bet worth up to £50
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has given his strongest hint yet that Argentinian playmaker Javier Pastore will leave the club next summer.
The 21-year-old is reported to be a target for several of Europe’s top clubs, with Barcelona rumoured to be leading the pursuit.
Zamparini told Tuttosport: “Until the end of season he will play for Palermo. Despite my interest for the club and player, I am already looking for his replacement.
“It will be impossible to find a replacement because he is too good.
“Also, I feel it will be difficult for an Italian club to buy him. His price is already high at 70million euros – he will move abroad.”
“I refused 25million euros from Real Madrid. Pastore would like to play with Lionel Messi [at Barcelona], but if an offer of 100million euros were to arrive from [Chelsea’s] Roman Abramovich, I would take it into consideration.” (Independent)
When Mesut Ozil and Wesley Sneijder starred at the World Cup in the summer, many heralded it as the return of the no. 10: the playmaker, the Trequartista.
Javier Pastore is of a similar mould, but taller than either of those at 6’2″, and is an outstanding creative talent whose rise to prominence has been nothing short of meteoric.
A clever creative player who is renowned for his incisive passing and ability to quickly turn defence into attack, Pastore would be a fantastic acquisition for any team in Europe.
However, it is difficult to see Chelsea – or indeed anyone stumping up €100m for him, even with Zamparini’s notorious taste for hyperbole.
Palermo recently tried to up Pastore’s salary with a new contract, with the catch being his minimum fee release clause would increase massively.
The Argentine himself sounded enthusiastic just four days ago, saying, “Next season for sure I will remain here at Palermo. We all want it: me, the fans and the president.”
However, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini’s resignation to losing the player – albeit for an exorbitant fee – signals that an extension is unlikely.
Now he will just wait for the bids from across Europe.
Fancy a flutter? Join Sportingbet and get a free bet worth up to £50! There are countless markets to bet on including which team will win, the first goalscorer, the correct score or even the time of the last goal. You can also try your hand at an accumulator and try to win big from a small stake. So visit Sportingbet.com and register now to put your money where your mouth is.