Boca Juniors insist Arsenal transfer target Cristian Pavon will not leave in January to replace Alexis Sanchez

The Argentine giants will not let him leave this month if they have a choice, and even if the Gunners were to bid the £28m needed there is no guarantee that Pavón would feel ready to leave

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Wednesday 10 January 2018 13:40 GMT
Cristian Pavon is in Arsenal's sights but wants some reassurances
Cristian Pavon is in Arsenal's sights but wants some reassurances (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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Boca Juniors do not want or expect Cristian Pavon to leave the club this month, and only Arsenal paying his £28m release clause and reassurances from Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli would convince the young forward to leave.

Arsenal’s interest in the Argentinean forward was revealed by The Independent earlier this week, with Pavón eyed as a long-term replacement for Alexis Sanchez because of their similar playing styles.

But while local reports claimed that the Londoners were ready to bring forward their timetable by buying the wideman, Boca still wish to retain Pavón for their Copa Libertadores campaign that begins in February and the player himself is concerned that moving and not playing first-team football would damage his World Cup chances.

Pavon made his debut for Argentina last summer
Pavon made his debut for Argentina last summer (Getty Images)

Pavón, 21, has only played twice for Argentina, in a pair of friendlies last summer, but knows that a strong six months with the biggest country in his homeland would likely secure him a spot on the plane to Russia. Boca have also made a huge effort to assemble a squad that could win this year’s Libertadores, bringing in Argentine internationals Emanuel Mas and Julio Buffarini as well as a headline-grabbing move to drag Carlos Tevez back from China.

While the finances at virtually every club in Argentina are rocky, Boca believe they can afford to turn down offers for Pavón as the players value will only go up with an impressive Libertadores campaign and, possibly, a good showing at the World Cup.

It means that Arsenal would have to not only pay the release clause for the player but also convince him that he would get enough first-team football to still have a chance of making Sampaoli’s squad.

Boca president Daniel Angelici recently handed the youngster a significant payrise and contract extension, and he doesn’t expect the 21-year-old forward to leave any time soon.

“I think that he will stay at Boca until December. We haven’t received any offers for him.

“I will not obstruct his career, but we signed a good contract for his happiness and we included a high release clause for this reason.”

Arsenal continue to explore their options with regards to a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, with Bordeaux attacker Malcom now being considered.

Sanchez is expected to join Manchester City this month, with Kevin de Bruyne giving the strongest public indication from a City employee that the move is imminent.

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