Last post on Javier Pastore. Promise.
As we're all more than aware, Javier Pastore elected to go to Paris Saint-Germain and not Chelsea. Most people don't seem to be too disappointed, on account of the fact that he was extremely expensive - in a previous post I pegged his annual cost to PSG at £13.3M per annum, which would have been a significant fraction (7%) of Chelsea's 2010 turnover. On the other hand, if your team is going to overpay, it might as well overpay for an actual need, and few could deny that the Blues are in dire need of someone like Pastore, if not the man himself, to shore up their midfield.
So losing out on the midfielder to a Ligue 1 team might be economically smart, but it's at the same time rather vexing. At least, I'm still rather cranky about it. I'm also curious about what exactly led to Pastore/Palermo picking PSG over Chelsea. Was it the compensation offered to the player? Was it Zamparani and co. preferring the transfer fee offered by the Parisians? Something else?
Option three, says Pastore. At least, so say Goal.com, and I'm not finding it anywhere else. Since they didn't bother linking back to a real source, I'll return the favour and paraphrase - the 22-year-old claimed that PSG guaranteed him playing time, and Chelsea did not.
That's a perfectly legitimate reason to pick a club, although you'd have to wonder why Chelsea didn't simply lie through their teeth to pick him up. With an obvious hole in the midfield as well as Frank Lampard's impending however-he-ends-up-leaving, Pastore filled an obvious need, and if playing time was the only concern, Chelsea could have simply fibbed their way through things and made it up to him later. Plus, even if he wasn't first choice at Stamford Bridge, he'd have been guaranteed plenty of minutes anyway. All very odd.
I'm not sure I'm buying that explanation, and it's certainly not option one either - the wages Pastore's making at PSG are nothing Chelsea couldn't compete with. How about option two? Is that any more sensible?
Sure. Although it's been reported that Palermo were happy with both offers, that doesn't mean that one wasn't higher than the other, and PSG's was quite clearly higher than any Chelsea bid. The leaked talks about the signing could well have been designed to induce the Blues to increase their offer in light of PSG pressure, but ultimately they wouldn't budge and PSG got their man.
That makes a lot more sense than a battle about playing time. Because if that's the actual reason Pastore's going to by plying his trade the Parc de Princes rather than at Stamford Bridge, I'm pretty irritated with Chelsea.