Milan - Palermo president Walter Zamparini has issued a
hands-off warning following reports AC Milan will try to lure attacking
midfielder Franco Vazquez to the club this January.
Argentine-born Italian Vazquez came to prominence at Palermo
last season while playing alongside striker Paulo Dybala before the Argentine
international's move to champions Juventus.
Despite Dybala's departure, Vazquez continues to impress in
Serie A and Milan are among a number of clubs reported to be preparing a bid
for the 26-year-old in the winter transfer market.
Zamparini in recent days said Vazquez, born to an Italian
mother and an Argentinian father, could leave the club "if someone offers
me 30 million euros ($32.2 million) plus VAT".
Also read: Palermo prepare to cash in on their jewel Dybala
On Thursday, Palermo issued a statement saying the fledgling
Italy international, who has made two appearances for the Azzurri, will not
leave the club this winter. It added that Zamparini's estimation of the player
was intended as a light-hearted joke.
"President Maurizio Zamparini states that Franco
Vazquez will absolutely not be leaving the club in the winter transfer
window," said a Palermo statement.
"The president would also like to note that, in the
context of a light-hearted interview given yesterday, he got carried away and
was only joking when speaking about the valuation of Palermo's No.20
Zamparini earlier this week sacked his 29th coach since
taking over in 2002, Giuseppe Iachini exiting the club and being replaced by
Some Palermo players, including Vazquez, protested the
decision claiming Iachini had not been at fault for the club's string of
mediocre results of late.
Vazquez called the sacking "an injustice" in a
post on Twitter, while goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino wrote "what doesn't
kill you makes you stronger."For
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