Fortnite, the craze that’s sweeping the globe, is, so I’m told, a “co-op survival game” (whatever that means) one that has enraptured the attention of tweens the world over. Fortnight, the unit of time, derives from Old English and means 14 days, as in (roughly) the time Paris Saint Germain has to make €60 million in sales lest they be dealt with by Financial Fair Play.
Considering the absurd collection of talent present on PSG’s roster, that shouldn’t be a problem, but that tight timeline has the rest of Europe on high notice. Who will they offload, Marquinhos? Marco Verratti? David Beckham’s leftover beauty kit?
Well, one name that immediately popped up was Javier Pastore, PSG’s soon to be 29-year-old attacking midfielder. Pastore, you may recall, was unearthed from Huracan by Walter Sabatini for the tidy sum of €4.7 million. After two stellar seasons with Palermo, in which he scored 14 goals, Pastore was sold to the newly minted PSG for nearly €40 million in the summer of 2011.
While Pastore didn’t exactly become a household name during his time in Paris—they seemingly brought in bigger and brighter names every summer after his signing—he was a mainstay for the Parisians, registering nearly 200 appearances for the club. However, after his 13 goal and 6 assist campaign during his debut season in 2011-2012, Pastore was relatively pedestrian, at least in terms of his counting statistics, and had been subject to transfer rumors for the past several seasons.
All of which brings us to June 30th, the date by which PSG must reap €60 million in sales. While they’re not likely to part with Neymar or Kylian Mbappe, or even Verratti, players like Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler and Pastore have been reportedly put on the chopping block, leading to this story you’re reading right now.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pastore could be had for as little as €15 to €20 million, a decent sum for a player his age and with a soon to be expiring contract. The hiccup for Roma, as it has been since time immemorial, are Pastore’s high wages, which are reportedly around €5-€6 million. However, it is believed that if Pastore were offered a new, longer deal, they could potentially whittle that down to €4 million, which is certainly more manageable for Roma.
Of course, with Bryan Cristante, Ante Coric, Justin Kluivert (soon) and possibly even Hakim Ziyech on board, it’s fair to question where Pastore would play for Roma. Capable of being the playmaker in a 4-2-3-1 or nominal central/attacking midfielder in a 4-3-3, Pastore certainly doesn’t lack for versatility, but his arrival might signal the end of Radja Nainggolan’s time in Rome, assuming Pastore would slot in as a midfielder for EDF.
Regardless of the semi-awkward fit, Pastore is just one of those players who, if available, you have to at least kick the tires. His combination of passing and playmaking is just too good to pass up; any manager worth his salt would make room for a guy like Pastore.
Will it happen? Who knows (West Ham are also connected and could presumably pay more), but Pastore has familiarity and experience in Serie A, and PSG has precious little time to dawdle around, so Roma could get lucky.