Chelsea’s chances of landing Argentinean wonderkid Javier Pastore have been given a big boost after Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini admitted that the player’s next move will be abroad.
A host of top European clubs have been long-time admirers of the 21-year-old attacking midfielder, who has made great strides in his two seasons in Italy and has even been dubbed in some quarters as the ‘Argentinean Kaka’.
Palermo have resigned themselves to the fact that they will lose their star asset in the summer, but are determined to drive a hard bargain in order to ensure they get a high transfer fee.
It is believed that Real Madrid have already had an offer rejected last summer which did not meet Palermo’s £60m valuation, with Barcelona also believed to be interested.
However, with Chelsea expected to spend big in the summer to enhance their Premier League title credentials next season, it could be Carlo Ancelotti’s team who are at the head of the pack, particularly as they are most likely to be able to guarantee Pastore first-team football.
If Pastore moved to Real Madrid he would face a tough battle with Mesut Ozil for a starting berth, while at Barcelona he would face the prospect of attempting to replace Xavi or Andres Iniesta.
Zamparini said: “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.
“I feel it will be difficult for an Italian club to buy him. His price is already high at £60 million – he will move abroad.”
However, players of Pastore’s kind have not been ultimately productive at Stamford Bridge in the past, with Juan Sebastien Veron and Deco both struggling to make a suitable impact.
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