Pastore: It's time to leave Palermo

Argentina international attacker Javier Pastore is set to leave Italian side Palermo, stating that he wants to play at the highest level.

The 21-year-old, who joined the Italian side from Argentinean club Huracan in 2009, has been linked to a host of Europe’s elite clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City.

After making brief appearances in Argentina’s journey to the quarter final of the World Cup in South Africa last summer, Pastore has gone from strength-to-strength this season and finished the campaign as Palermo’s top scorer in Serie A with 11 goals.

With two seasons in Serie A added to his experience, Pastore will now consider his options after being prepared to leave for pastures new.

"I feel that the time to leave Palermo has arrived," Pastore told Fox Sports Radio Del Plata.

However, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has stated that if Pastore believes his future lies away from Palermo, then he was not be sold on the cheap.

"There are big clubs that want him," added Zamparini. "We are talking about one of the top talents in current football and I will not sell him on the cheap.

"I paid €19million for him when he was 18."

Zamparini has also criticised Pastore in the way he has treated the club of late, stating that the player spent more time talking to his agent then he did to the club’s officials.

"I give up on Pastore," Zamparini said to Sky Italia. "He speaks more to his agent than he does with me.

"I am not offended. It's logical that, at the most, he would have played one more season at Palermo; but at the same time if he did, he would have more pressure and he wouldn't be the same Pastore we know."

By Matt Maltby