It’s no secret that with Fernando Torres still apparently only capable of cameo performances from his former glories, and Demba Ba of limited productivity, Chelsea are in the market for a top line front man. No surprise then that the Blues have been heavily linked with Napoli’s Uruguayan hit man Edinson Cavani.
The problem is of course that the Italian’s want to extract the highest price that they can for their prize asset and have set a buy-out clause of some £53.3million. It’s a figure that Manchester City have already baulked at, and apparently real Madrid are less than enthusiastic at the number as well. Now Chelsea have also told Napoli that they won’t be paying that much, and are topping out their bid at £40million.
It’s understood that Chelsea are prepared to play hard ball with Napoli as they have other options should the Cavani deal not work out. Manager Jose Mourinho is an admirer Edin Dzeko, currently considered surplus to requirements at Manchester City. The Bosnian would cost considerably less than the fee bandied about for Cavani. Other alternatives include Brazil international star Hulk, and Mourinho still harbours hopes of luring Wayne Rooney to London, should the split between player and Manchester United prove unbridgeable for David Moyes.
It seems clear that the player himself is keen for a deal to be concluded, and has reportedly urged Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis to reconsider the stated fee to allow a move to happen. The Daily Star quotes the Uruguayan as saying “I don’t think I’m worth £53.5m. I will talk to him about it. I owe a lot to Napoli and I want to leave through the front door if I move on.
It’s the classic ‘stand-off’ situation. Napoli really want to sell, but are determined to maximise the revenue, and if they can get two or more clubs interested in a bidding war, that would be ideal. At the moment however, no-one seems close to considering the buy-out as reasonable. This one could run and run.