Javier Pastore
Palermo's Javier Pastore has been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea this summer. REUTERS

Paris Saint Germain have entered the race for Palermo midfielder Javier Pastore, according to club president Maurizio Zamparini.

Chelsea were believed to be frontrunners to land the 22-year-old Argentine after Zamparini previously said the west Londoners had enquired about the player's availability.

But Zamparini claims Paris Saint-Germain - backed by the Qatar Investment Authority - are also interested in the £44m-rated player.

"Leonardo [PSG sporting director] is a great man. He called me and told me he was very interested in Pastore," said Zamparini.

"We have a meeting with his agent this week. PSG and Chelsea are the two teams in the lead on this issue. There are one or two opportunities in Spain. Either way, he will not stay in Italy."

The reports come just a day after the Sicilian club's vice-president Guglielmo Micciche said Pastore was likely to join Chelsea.

"We are talking about a great player who, in my opinion, is extraordinary," Micciche said. "There is no doubt that he should be sold for several reasons. He wants a big club and negotiations are well advanced with a very important team.

"His agent is working well and if someone pays the right amount we are happy to let him go.

"Very likely he will go to Chelsea, but I think there are many other clubs of that level looking at the boy."

But Palermo sporting director Sean Sogliano confirmed PSG are interested in Pastore. He told Sportitalia: "The French club's interest in Pastore is real. The possibility that the player could transfer to Paris is one that does exist. Leonardo is very interested in such an option."

Meanwhile, the on-again, off-again Neymar summer transfer saga took another twist last night, after Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira pledged to keep the Brazilian international at the club.

Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all been linked with the highly-rated 19-year-old but Oliveira insists the striker is going nowhere.

"He will stay at Santos. It is not safe, but that is my intention, my objective," he told AS.

"I have talked a lot with his father, and now we will resume those conversations. It does not make sense he leaves now.

"I have spoken with Real Madrid's president [Florentine Perez] a few times; I told him that Neymar is indispensable to us and for at least the next six months.

"The player's wish is yet to be defined. It is clear he will not leave if the release clause is not met, and my conviction is that Neymar wants to stay in Brazil some time more."

Earlier this month, Neymar expressed a desire to stay at Santos until the 2011 Club World Cup in Japan.

"I want to stay at Santos," he said. "My wish is to play the Club World Cup for Santos."

Finally, Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik has expressed his desire to stay at Napoli.

The Slovakian international had been linked with AC Milan and Chelsea but he told La Gazzetta dello Sport - via ESPN Soccer, "I never thought about leaving Napoli. Over the last two months I was at home in Slovakia and didn't even have the internet at my disposal. I stayed away from everything."