€35m Liverpool reject to switch nationality and could face Suarez and Sturridge at the World Cup

Italy Flag

Gabriel Paletta wants to play for Italy and not his birth-place Argentina. So he could take on Liverpool strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez next summer.

Today there is some rather interesting news emerging from Parma on the subject of Gabriel Paletta … recognise that name, if you are a Liverpool fan you probably do.

The Argentine was once a Liverpool player arriving from Club Atletico Banfield as a young defender, capable of playing both at left-back and centre-back.

Snapped up by Rafa Benitez, the young prodigy had shone in an Argentina team containing Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships.

However the 2006-07 season was Paletta’s first and last at Anfield - and he featured just five times for the club.

With the arrival of compatriot Emiliano Insua at the club, Liverpool allowed Paletta to leave and he returned to Argentina to play for Boca Juniors - which is where he started demonstrating what Liverpool were missing out on.

Now and out-and-out central defender he got another crack at Europe when Italian outfit Parma came calling in 2010.

Nowadays he is the Gialloblu’s team captain and the centre of much transfer speculation in recent months.

AC Milan were said to be very interested in the player - but Parma rate the player at a hefty valuation of €35 million. This valuation was dubbed as ‘crazy’ by the player’s agent Martin Guastadisegno.

So it is fair to say this Argentine Liverpool cast-off has certainly gone on to better and bigger things. And now, he might end up playing against England next summer.

Because he has confirmed his wish to represent Italy at international level and not Argentina - who have continually overlooked him at international level.

He says he would rather play for the Azzurri over the Albiceleste:

“I’ve said it before and I repeat it, I am available for the call of the Italian national team. If Italy boss Cesare Prandelli should call me up then I would like to play in Azzurro.”

The next World Cup may come too soon for him to try and shackle the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge - as he has only recently returned to action from a serious thigh injury.

But if he carries on where he left off next season - he might get to show Liverpool what he can do on the world stage.

image: © ell-r-brown

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch