Former Napoli director general Pierpaolo Marino has dismissed claims that he made a mistake in failing to sign Javier Pastore.
It has been revealed this week, by one of Marino's former collaborators, that Pastore was targeted by the Azzurri before Palermo swooped for the sensation in 2009.
However, Marino has rejected the idea that Pastore – who Palermo now value at €60m – could have been signed by him for relatively little in terms of a transfer fee.
"At the time everyone who knows something about football had heard of Pastore, he was a rising star of Argentine football," Marino noted. "He wasn't an unknown.
"Real Madrid and Barcelona, not by chance, were following him too. And it's not true that the figures involved to sign him would be low.
"Palermo made an important investment for him and I think they still haven't finished paying for him today.
"It must also be noted that at the time, [Napoli President Aurelio] De Laurentiis and [Coach Roberto] Donadoni had put a stop to any more South American players arriving.
"The President was annoyed by the night lives of a few of them."
It was believed that Palermo had signed Pastore for around €6m, but Marino's remarks seem to suggest that figure may be inaccurate.