Paris: Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery insisted on Monday he wants midfielder Javier Pastore to stay at the French leaders despite reported interest from Inter Milan.
With the World Cup fast approaching, Argentine Pastore is desperate for more playing time, but he has slipped down the PSG pecking order.
The 28-year-old joined the club from Palermo in 2011 as the first major acquisition of the Qatari ownership era, but recent signings Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Julian Draxler are limiting his chances.
When Brazilian star Neymar arrived in the summer, Pastore diplomatically handed over his No 10 shirt to the world's most expensive player — and also lost his place in the team.
"I want Javier Pastore to stay here with us. It's better for the team," Emery said on Monday of the player that club captain Thiago Silva accused of angling for a way out by returning late from the winter break.
Emery acknowledged that Pastore may be keen on a move.
"I've spoken to him a great deal. What he says outside to others is something else, that's his responsibility," the Spanish coach said.
"Pastore is a great player. When he's fit he's an important element here.
"My opinion is that I want him to stay. But then it's up to him to see what he wants for himself.
"With the World Cup (coming up), all players want to play more."
Possessing sublime skills but with a tendency to disappear from games, Pastore has played 17 times in all competitions this season for PSG but featured only twice in 2017 for Argentina.
And he has left little doubt as to what his intentions are.
"I need to play much, much more and try and get to the World Cup," he said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio said on Sunday he had a "feeling" for Pastore.
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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 08:46:10 IST