It’s the hottest transfer story in Italian football this summer. Is Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore staying with the Rosanero and participating in their Europa League campaign or moving to Spain or England to join a club in the Champions League?
The 21 year old Argentinian has been the subject of transfer speculation for some time now and despite Pastore’s open admission that he is delighted to be in Sicily and would like to stay with Palermo if possible, president of the club Mauro Zamparini is looking to cash in on his trequartista.
Zamparini has set a valuation of 50 million Euros from any potential suitors, rumoured to be Premier League side Chelsea and Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, for the Argentinian. The astronomical transfer fee is a far cry away from the reported 7 million Euros Palermo paid for a fresh faced 18 year old Pastore, who was playing at Argentinian side Huracan. For a player only capped eight times by Argentina who has just turned 22 years of age, a 50 million Euros asking price seems to show the shallowness of Zamparini to gather as much money as he can.
In February, the rumoured valuation of Pastore was said to be double the asking price that Zamparini has currently set. Pastore himself spoke out over the 100 million Euros estimate, questioning the reality of the deal and brandishing the offer ludicrous. Palermo’s top scorer with eleven goals last season, the fleet-footed Argentinian thrilled Rosanero fans with his clinical finishing ability and his fantastic finesse to find his teammates with his precise passing.
Controversy seems to fall hand in hand with Zamparini. Former manager Delio Rossi has recently announced he has left the club by mutual consent after a turbulent season at Palermo, where he was sacked after a 7-0 thrashing by Udinese and then reinstated five weeks later. Since his acquisition of Palermo in 2002, Zamparini has sacked seven managers and is known to be particularly outspoken about most things concerning his football club. This Pastore saga seems to be just another twist to the complex Zamparini tale.
If Pastore goes, and if Zamparini gets his own way, then Palermo will have a considerably rich transfer fund for next season. Pastore’s best bet may be to leave the strains and stresses of Palermo and join Chelsea. English football would suit his creative, high-tempo attacking game and linking up with an on-form Fernando Torres would send shivers down every central defender’s spine in the Premier League and possibly Champions League. The attraction of the glitz and glamour of Madrid and Barcelona could tilt Zamparini’s head into forcing an offer through there, but the ultimate decision is where Pastore himself wants to go.
There’s a strange feeling that the 21 year old wants to stay in Sicily and repay the trust of the loyal Palermo fans and staff who nurtured his growth and development over the past two years. All shall be revealed.