Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore has commanded a considerable amount of column space in recent weeks and months regarding continuous speculation around his future.
However, reports in Italy are circulating that Manchester United are preparing a firm offer of €40m in an attempt to bring the much sought-after player to Old Trafford.
Il Corriere dello Sport reports that Sir Alex Ferguson has made Pastore his prime summer transfer target in his pursuit for a new playmaker to help take the burden off of the ‘evergreen’ Paul Scholes.
Despite interest from La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Red Devils are the front-runners for the player’s signature providing Manchester United and Palermo officials can reach an agreement with regards to the overall fee.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has been quoted saying he values Pastore at €70m and may be prepared to cash in on the Argentinian international if United meet his valuation.
Manchester United may have to fend off interest from their noisy neighbours and Barclays Premier League rivals City – the Eastlands club also made enquiries about the player in the recent January transfer window.
Pastore himself has spoken of his desire to remain in Sicily in order to gain more first-team experience rather than warm the bench of a big-hitting European club.
But Ferguson and his team of coaching staff will do all they can to persuade him that his long-term future will be best suited in Manchester as they look to broker a deal to bring ‘El Flaco’ to Old Trafford.