Javier Pastore finally ended his seven-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain after weeks of speculation as Roma agreed to a €20 million transfer for the Argentinian playmaker.
The fee, which will increase up to another €4 million in bonuses, was enough for PSG to part ways with Pastore given that the French champions need to make around €60 million from player sales by the end of June to comply with financial fair play rules.
However, FFP or not Pastore had seen playing time decrease since signing for PSG in 2011 for close to €40 million and with first team opportunities limited it was vital that the 29-year-old moved on.
West Ham United had been in talks over Pastore but were reportedly put off the former Huracán midfielder’s salary demands and so Roma were free to secure Pastore to an initial four-year deal.
“I am very happy to be here at Roma. It is great to return to Italy, and to do it with such a great club. I hope to repay in full all the enthusiasm, support and affection that Roma fans have shown me already,” Pastore said after being unveiled at his new club.
The elegant playmaker has struggled with injuries and consistency in Paris and it ultimately cost Pastore a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad but there is absolutely no doubting his quality.
Something not lost on Roma’s sporting director Monchi: “The arrival of Pastore delights me because we’re talking about a player who is capable of enchanting the fans with his skills.
“During my career as a sporting director, I have signed lots of players and Javier is probably the one with the greatest quality.”
If Pastore can rediscover his best form and Roma can build a team around his talents, then both parties will enjoy a terrific 2018/19 season.
Pastore may have won a glut of trophies at PSG but increasingly failed to display his true potential and a fresh start could kickstart that.
Breaking into his local club Talleres’ first team before a swift move to Huracán saw Pastore establish himself as one of Argentina’s best young talents and while Ángel Cappa’s thrilling Globo side just missed out on the title, El Flaco was destined for greatness.
Palermo paid approximately €4.7 million to fend off interest from clubs all over Europe and Pastore proved a hit in Serie A with his wonderful dribbling and passing ability. The player that big-spending PSG paid all that money for in 2011 is still there and with a lack of old-fashioned playmakers like Pastore, the chance to regain his place in the Argentina side is still there.