A couple days back we had a ridiculous Edinson Cavani rumour thrown our way, courtesy of. the ever reliable Daily Mail. Since the Mail's trademark is their complete and utter lack of credibility, that rumour was promptly booted out the door. However reports surfacing today in Italy suggest there might just have been a little more to it than initially met the eye.
Apparently the player's agent, one Claudio Pasqualin, has been in a rather chatty mood lately, speaking to the thoughtfully named Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli. In an exchange that was eventually also picked up by Calciomercato, he had the following to say:
As for the vice [captain] Cavani think Vargas will replace it, but eye to the temptation of the market, see last bid for Chelsea's Edinson.
As you can see, translate attack was not super effective here, so a closer, more sane look at his remarks will give you, more or less:
I think Vargas will replace vice captain Cavani, but it all depends on the market. The last bid for Edinson was Chelsea's.
Mr. Pasqualin wasn't quite done there, however, as he eventually added:
It will be tough to detain him, the offensive on him by top European clubs did not stop by the species Chelsea will be hard to resist. There is a concentration of fire on Matador, Chelsea seek him seriously.
Which is to say, whatever this species called Chelsea is, they are pursuing Cavani fiercely and should he fall into their unforgiving grasp, he'll be subjected to most hellish, concentrated fire. Damn!
At the same time, Claudio Pasqualin wasn't the only one with something to say, as FIFA Agent Ernesto Bronzetti then chipped in. Speaking about the prolonged interest in Napoli's number 7, he said:
If you would be confirmed for the third consecutive year, then I think he would start to look around, especially for the salary cap of the Naples that does not allow him to earn as a player of his level, and would certainly not be criticized. Today is a fantasy to think that the player can only bind to the mesh, there are more players who kiss the jerseys.
Now, it's difficult to get a lock on income figures for players in foreign leagues, but the article asserts Cavani, noted as being Napoli's top earner, presently earns about € 2.8M a year including bonuses, and that Abramovich is seemingly ready to more that triple it to € 8M (~£120,000 per week).
So while the contract agreement for a possible deal isn't likely to be a bother, throwing a potential spanner in the works is Napoli President Aurelio de Laurentiis, whom it is said would require an offer of at least €60M to give up his prize prospect. At this point, I wouldn't at all be surprised if de Laurentiis was revealed to be a long lost brother of Pinto da Costa.
I'm in two minds about how sensible de Laurentiis' demands actually are. On one hand, having seen Lavezzi slip through their fingers and jump ship to nouveau rich PSG, it's entirely reasonable to expect them to hang onto the next important piece of their [now former, ha!] trident. Cavani does have three and a half years left to run on his current contract as well.
On the other hand, Napoli are in need of money. Andrea Poli and Maxi Lopez are said to be on their wishlist, with stiff competition expected from Milan clubs for the former, who incidentally, spent the last season on loan at Inter. The only other club who have publicly registered interest in Cavani are Juventus, but with the way things are looking, they could be priced out of this even before the serious discussion gets underway.
After a week of being linked to Andre Schurrle and Stevan Jovetic, all signs had pointed to the likelihood of us adding a versatile forward to the squad, so honestly it's a little surprising to see us linked to a pure out-and-out forward, and a marquee one at that.
As an individual, Cavani brings a terrifying set of skills to the table, none more so than his physical imposition and tremendous work rate. He also possesses an excellent eye for goal and impressive movement off the ball. He'd undoubtedly improve the side, and a signing of his caliber would show we certainly mean business, but at the same time would cast considerable doubts over Daniel Sturridge's future and Fernando Torres' playing time.
I know Serie A strikers in the last few years haven't had the strongest track record of success outside the country, we've already had the ignominy of purchasing one such individual, yet prodigal talents like Mario Balotelli have showed their mettle when it mattered, and Cavani certainly has my vote for succeeding in a major career step up.
Among all top clubs in the market for a forward, we're probably the ones exploring the most avenues at the same time, so it's quite possible Chelsea's interest might end up evaporating, especially if later on the possibility of securing someone like Stevan Jovetic for cheaper than demanded arises, or if Porto end up selling Hulk for around the same price as quoted for Cavani. Fat chance, I know. At the same time, if moves for those two, or three if you feel Schurrle is still on, collapse completely, Cavani could be our best bet at adding quality upfront.
The picture should hopefully become clearer in the coming weeks, and if this develops right, we could be looking at potentially the most engaging transfer saga of the summer. I don't think we've had comments from Pasqualin before, so for all we know he could just be another from among the rabble rousing ilk of agents Italy is choc-full of, although for now I'm willing to give the man the benefit of doubt. Yet, for the time being, I guess we can just be glad the club is looking in all the best directions available, and that a front-line reinforcement is looking very likely.