Real Madrid may not be in Cavani hunt after all

Giuseppe Bellini

While the Edinson Cavani chase continues to diddle about doing nothing, Chelsea supporters keep wondering whether or not we're even the best fit for the striker (and also whether he's the best fit for us, but that's been discussed several billion times already). Foremost among our possible rivals for the Napoli hitman is Real Madrid, who are packing tonnes of money, a new manager and a real willingness to spend.

But what will they spend their cash on? Over at Managing Madrid, Lucas Navarrete -- a trustworthy friend of mine who actually does the whole journalism thing from Spain -- has claimed it almost certainly won't be on another striker:

Real Madrid have almost ruled out the possibility of signing another striker. With Gonzalo Higuaín likely signing for Arsenal in the next few days, the roster would need a replacement for Karim Benzema. And that's Álvaro Morata. The young canterano has shocked the football world by winning the U21 Eurocup Golden Boot playing alongside new signing Isco. He might as well deserve Ancelotti's trust after all. To sign Cavani for more than 60M€ to have him or Benzema on the bench would make no sense. Karim Benzema will start the season as Real Madrid's main striker and then his own performances would be the ones that make him keep or lose that role.

That would obviously rule them out of the Cavani chase, leaving him with few other options than Chelsea and another season at the San Paolo. That's probably positive news for us. It would give Cavani less leverage to go for higher wages should Chelsea and Napoli come to terms on a deal, if nothing else.

I'm one hundred percent positive that someone's going to draw parallels between the Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku situations. This is misguided, and it's misguided because of the presence of Karim Benzema. Unless Chelsea, Real Madrid have a world-class striker on their books, and that's why they'd be content to replace Gonzalo Higuain with a youngster. I'm sure Chelsea would be happy to have Romelu Lukaku take over as the number two centre forward if they had anything approaching a number one.

Anyway, that's the deal with Real Madrid and strikers. It doesn't help us much in terms of getting Cavani's transfer fee down (blasted release clause!), but it does mean that we're more likely to land him, if he does move.

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