ESTUDIANTES de la Plata, the Argentine Apertura champions, will hold talks with Sheffield United aimed at resolving Elian Parrino’s future, The Star can confirm.
Sergio Neveleff, head of international development with the South American giants, last night revealed discussions are scheduled to take place when the 22-year-old’s loan deal expires this summer.
Although Estudiantes officials have been monitoring Parrino’s development at Bramall Lane, Neveleff appeared to suggest they could be tempted to cash-in on his talents should a suitable offer materialise.
“Estudiantes is one of the top exporters of talent in the Argentinian league system,” he said. “Two of our most recent sales have seen teammates of Elian - Marcos Rojo and Federico Fernandez - move to Russia and Napoli in Italy for a combined total of £7.5 million.
“Our goal in allowing Elian to leave was the give him exposure, increase his profile and also, perhaps, make him a transfer possibility.”
United brokered a deal for Parrino after he impressed during an August friendly between the two sides. Progress was slow as the Championship club lurched from manager to manager earlier in the campaign but the arrival of Micky Adams, combined with injuries to several key players, saw him make his debut during December’s defeat by Burnley. He has been a fixture in Adams’ starting 11 ever since.
“Elian is spending the rest of the campaign with United,” Neveleff said. “Of course we will meet with our counterparts there before June to talk about the situation and then, after that, we will see what the best option is for all three parties involved.”
“We are watching Elian,” added Neveleff. “We have a department here who work exclusively following all of our players who are either adapting to life in new competitions or a working towards internal transfers in Argentina.”
United’s ability to avoid relegation from the Championship - they entertain Millwall tomorrow four points adrift of safety - will a bearing on Parrino’s future.
But, according to Neveleff, Estudiantes are keen to build strong ties with their English counterparts irrespective of the youngster’s situation.
udes the enthusiasm of someone who has been straining at the leash to play and regular starts should smooth some of the rough edges which inevitably exist within his game, particularly sharpening the positional sense required to become a top full-back.
“That is our goal exactly,” Neveleff said. “To build a bridge between our club and Sheffield that would be for our mutual benefit, to work straight from club to club.
“Players will always benefit from being in different competitions other than the one they have been brought-up in.
“This is especially true when they are sent to the British environment because it is very different to what they will have been used to. They will develop qualities they otherwise might not have.
“It is a totally different culture of football and they become more rounded players as a result.”