Esteban Cambiasso at Leicester City: Argentina legend not signed just to buy big name

Nigel Pearson denies there were cynical reasons for signing the Champions League winner

Manager Nigel Pearson insists that Leicester City’s unlikely signing of the Champions League-winning Argentina international Esteban Cambiasso was made for football reasons rather to put “bums on seats”.

The 34-year-old has joined Leicester on a one-year deal after being released by Internazionale in the summer, following a 10-year spell in Italy during which he won five Serie A titles and helped clinch the treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia under Jose Mourinho in 2009-10. He has 52 Argentina caps.

Read more: Leicester vs Arsenal match preview

The deal follows Pearson’s club record £8m purchase of Argentine striker Leonardo Ulloa from Brighton, but Pearson rejected comparisons with his big-spending predecessor at Leicester, Sven Goran Eriksson, who was criticised for paying inflated sums for big-names of questionable quality.

“I don’t like doing deals for commercial reasons,” Pearson said. “The decision to sign Esteban was a football decision. He will add a lot to what is already a pretty talented squad. He’s here as a footballer, not a bums-on-seats man.”

Cambiasso, whose contract is believed to be worth £2m, would not talk about his other options, having been linked with River Plate in his home country, Valencia, and West Ham. He said that playing in the Premier League would fulfil an ambition. “In the past I had great possibilities because I played in Italy, Spain and Argentina but I need to play in the Premier League,” he said.

“I chose Leicester because they had an idea for me and they told me their first option was Cambiasso, their second option Cambiasso and their third option Cambiasso. Once I know that I called my brother, my agent and said, ‘We go there’.”

Nigel Pearson Nigel Pearson  

Leicester are awaiting international clearance before deciding if Cambiasso will be in their squad at home to Arsenal tomorrow.

Pearson rejected Wigan manager Uwe Rösler’s claim that Leicester had “used” his midfielder James McArthur and left the Scotland player “in limbo”, abandoning a move once the Cambiasso deal was complete.

“My policy is not to discuss another club’s players and we have made nothing public in regard to Wigan,” Pearson claimed.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor