Zamparini: Pastore will leave Italy

Javier Pastore will not be sold to one of Palermo’s Serie A rivals despite the player himself revealing he would prefer to stay in Italy, the club’s president Maurizio Zamparini has insisted.

Earlier this week Pastore seemed to reject the notion of a move to England or Spain by stating he has settled well in Italy since arriving from Argentine club Huracan in 2009 and has no desire for a drastic change of scene.

But Zamparini, who previously asserted that none of the 21-year-old’s Italian suitors are capable of matching Palermo’s 50 million euro valuation, revealed the contact he has had since with domestic rivals about Pastore has merely confirmed his belief that a move abroad is the only viable option for the player.

The Palermo chief told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I can assure everyone that I have not been contacted by AC Milan or Inter Milan despite what has been reported.

"The only president of an Italian club that asked me for Pastore was [Napoli president Aurelio] De Laurentiis.

"We had a chat. But Italian clubs cannot afford the price we are requesting for Pastore.

"I have tried to keep him at Palermo but he and his agent want to find another club in order for the player to make a leap in quality."

Zamparini’s latest comments may encourage Chelsea and Manchester City to step up their interest in Pastore, although Barcelona and Real Madrid are also thought to be monitoring the talented playmaker’s situation closely this summer.

By Liam Twomey