Offer for Spurs-linked ex-Liverpool man would be considered, but...

Parma fans at Ennio Tardini

Gabriel Paletta has found a second home at the Stadio Tardini, where Parma are keen to keep him.

The Buenos Aires native landed on Merseyside with great promise in the summer of 2006, only to depart just a year and five appearances later as one of the biggest flops in recent memory.

Fleeing back to the country of his birth with Boca Juniors, the centre-back would attempt a second European adventure in joining Parma four years ago - this time with the desired results.

Paletta has become a mainstay in Emilia-Romagna and solidified his place as one of Serie A’s most reliable defenders, leading the Ducali to quite famously slap a €35m price-tag on him for any interested parties last summer.

Circling vultures were unable to get their hands on the 31-year-old, who has continued his fine form up to the present, winning his first full international cap for adopted nation Italy earlier this month.

Reports had emerged just before linking Paletta with a switch to Tottenham Hotspur if Cesare Prandelli were to quit the Azzurri for White Hart Lane after the World Cup.

Spurs’ managerial situation remains up in the air as does Prandelli’s, whilst it remains to be seen whether the Italian would indeed favour bringing his national side charge with him should he choose to return to the club level.

At any rate, Parma and their star performer don’t necessarily seem inclined to part ways.

Managing director Pietro Leonardi has now revealed that offers have come in for Paletta, but the central defender has spurned a new adventure elsewhere to remain at the Tardini.

“Paletta has decided in difficult times to stay with Parma, neglecting economic incentives offered by other clubs,” he told Radio CRC.

“If players waive off greater pay [from elsewhere], it means we have built something important.”

Parma are enjoying a 16-game unbeaten streak in Serie A at present and look good value to qualify for the Europa League against the odds, with Paletta at the heart of the operation.

And whilst Leonardi has admitted that any bids for the veteran would be fairly evaluated, his hope that the core of the side will choose to stay intact endures.

“If an offer came for Paletta, both player and club will examine it,” he added.

“I wouldn’t simply cast it aside as the squad has to be formed by players who have the desire to play on for Parma.

“So far it has never happened that one of them wanted to leave, but if it happens, we’ll see.”

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