Tulio De Melo will don the pink jersey of Palermo come next season, after pre-signing with both Parma and Palermo of Serie A. January transfer reports had indicated the 23-year-old Brazilian, currently with French side LeMans, was on his way to Parma instead. Parma had claimed first club status in signing the player but Palermo management was not amused and it looked likely both clubs would be headed to arbitration which would also mean a lengthy ban for De Melo if the matter was taken to FIFA. It now looks as if both sides have come to an agreement privately avoiding legal action.
Parma technical director Andrea Berta is quoted as saying, “Presidents Tommaso Ghirardi and Maurizio Zamparini discussed the matter and have clarified the situation.” Berta went on to indicate the pre-contract with Parma had been torn up making way for De Melo to register with Palermo. Part of the final agreement bartered by Parma was a 50% ownership in De Melo’s new contract. Other clubs originally reporting interested in the player were Feyenoord, Lazio, Marseille and Wolfsburg. With talk of striker Amauri leaving Sicilian side Palermo come next season, the young Brazilan will be a welcomed goal scoring addition. De Melo sits fourth on Ligue 1 topscorers chart with 10 goals.