Pandev (R) with Napoli sports director Riccardo Bigon; photo:

Goran Pandev joins Napoli on loan

Pandev (R) with Napoli sports director Riccardo Bigon; photo: Goran Pandev will spend the next year on loan at Napoli after the two Italian clubs, Inter and Napoli, reached an agreement this afternoon.

According to Italian newspapers, the loan fee is expected to be 1.5 million euros.  As part of the deal, Inter will pay a portion of his salary this season as Pandev makes 3 million euros per season and Napoli has a salary structure that they will not pay any player that much money so Inter had to pay part of his salary to reach an agreement with Napoli.  The deal was reached today after negotiations proved successful between Pandev’s agent Carlo Pallavicino and the sports directors of both Inter and Napoli.

Goran Pandev also made his first comments after leaving Inter headquarters earlier in the day.  Pandev said, “I did not want to leave Inter but I’m thrilled to be joining Napoli.  Napoli is an important club that will play in the Champions League this season.  The biggest thing is that I’m happy with this transfer and look forward to my new adventure.”

The Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, made a statement recently and said that the Pandev deal was struck this morning after a conversation with Inter president Massimo Moratti.  Pandev will be officially presented as a Napoli player tomorrow during a press conference.  Napoli finished 3rd place in Serie A last season and therefore clinched a place in the Champions League group stages.  Napoli was drawn in the group of death during yesterday’s Champions League draw as they will be in Group A along side Bayern München, Villarreal, and Manchester City.

At Napoli, Pandev will be joined by another Macedonia born player in Blerim Dzemaili.  Blerim was born in Tetovo but spent most of his childhood in Switzerland and ultimately decided to represent Switzerland internationally.  Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri played a big part in the transfer as he wanted more options in attack and pressed for the club to bring in Pandev.  Napoli also pursued Pandev in January of 2010 before Goran signed with Inter.  However, Goran has been in bad form with Inter over the past year so both sides were looking for a change of scenery.  Finally, Napoli came calling and the move was acceptable for Goran since Napoli is an ambitious club and will play in the Champions League this season. 

Pandev could still return to Inter next summer since he is only joining Napoli on a one year loan.  Pandev will try to regain his good form with Napoli and also look to regain his confidence which has been lost over the past couple of months due to constant criticism from the Inter fans.

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