Pastore: I want to stay in Italy

Chelsea and Manchester City target Javier Pastore has dealt a blow to the hopes of his English and Spanish suitors by revealing he wants to stay in Italy when he leaves Palermo.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also thought to be tracking the playmaker, who is currently representing Argentina at the Copa America after another impressive season in Serie A.

On Monday, Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini confirmed an unnamed Italian club had also expressed an interest in signing Pastore, and now the 21-year-old has revealed he would like to remain in the country where he has settled since arriving from homeland club Huracan in 2009.

"If I left Palermo, I would like to remain in Italy,” he told Sky Italia. “I have played in Italy for the last two years and feel very comfortable there.

"If I leave Palermo it will be to join a stronger team. I know Palermo president [Maurizio] Zamparini speaks to my agent. I am calm."

By Liam Twomey