Paris Saint-Germain rival Chelsea in pursuit of Jose Mourinho’s top transfer target, and the bidding war could escalate to £53 million.
Chelsea must up their bid if they are to convince Napoli to sell Edinson Cavani, and face real competition to sign the Uruguayan forward.
The Blues are willing to pay up to £45 million to bring Cavani to Stamford Bridge according to the Daily Mirror, but Serie A side Napoli are holding out for the full £53 million that is the 26 year-old’s release clause – and Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain are willing to pay that amount.
That would mean Chelsea would have to break both their own transfer record, and the highest fee ever paid by a British club too: the £50 million Roman Abramovich spent luring Fernando Torres to west London from Liverpool.
Given Torres’ inability to transfer his goalscoring form from Anfield to Chelsea, the Russian oligarch is understandably reluctant to pay an even larger sum for a centre forward – particularly given that Cavani would have to adapt to a totally different brand of football in the English Premier League.
Still, new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is convinced that Cavani is the final piece in the jigsaw at Stamford Bridge.
Cavani’s record of 29 goals and five assists in 34 Serie A appearances won him the Capocannoniere, the award for the highest goalscorer in the Italian top flight, but it is not just his strike rate that appeals to Mourinho.
There are few harder working strikers in world football than Edinson Cavani, and his constant running and harrying of opponents has proved a menace to many a team.
His pressing from the front would enable Mourinho’s side to win the ball higher up the pitch, letting the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Andre Schurrle, Victor Moses and Kevin de Bruyne to do damage – and provide for Cavani.
However, for PSG money is little object, and even Abramovich may be blown out of the market by the Qatari owned club to sign one of the most coveted players in Europe.