One of River Plate’s main winter transfer targets has been a centre forward who can provide a, shall we say, slightly more consistent goal threat than Rogelio Funes Mori for the new season. Having already brought goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo home, they’re now closing in on Mariano Pavone. The Real Betis striker had been tempted by San Lorenzo, but his passage to Núñez is now looking so close that his Wikipedia page has been updated to state that he’s already a River player. Of more import, both Olé and La Nación are also reporting it’s all but a done deal.
Pavone’s last action in Argentine football was to score the goal that handed Estudiantes the championship in the playoff match for the 2006 Torneo Apertura against Boca Juniors. Evidently, it was a goal which earned him a place in the hearts of figures close to River, because Daniel Passarella has been meeting with Fernando Hidalgo, the player’s agent, to help the transfer through after former River boss – now back with San Lorenzo – Ramón Díaz, had thought he’d got the signing in the bag.
In three years at Betis, Pavone’s only scored 19 goals, as his side have slid into the second tier of Spanish football. That came after 57 in 182 matches at his only Argentine club, Estudiantes – almost one in three. A transfer fee has yet to be announced, but both River and San Lorenzo are clearly hoping Pavone’s record in the Argentine league of half a decade ago will give a better indication of his potential on his return than his figures in Spain.
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Photo taken from canchallena.com