Paris Saint-Germain ready to bid £50m for Napoli's Edinson Cavani
Paris Saint-Germain are to challenge Real Madrid by bidding £50m for the Napoli striker Edinson Cavani.
The French champions lost their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, to Madrid last month and endured a frustrating pursuit of a successor before turning to Laurent Blanc, effectively their fifth or sixth choice for the role.
The episode served to undermine PSG’s desire to be considered as one of Europe’s powerhouses. The club, flushed with the funds supplied by their Qatari owners, are intent on restating their credentials by making waves in the transfer market.
Cavani, the Uruguay striker who scored 29 goals last season, has generated interest from Spain and the Premier League but Napoli have insisted they will brush off any bid that does not activate the €63m (£53m) release clause in the 26-year-old’s contract.
That fee had dissuaded Manchester City from entering the running. Chelsea, so keen to add to their forward ranks, had lodged an inquiry in the hope they would be offered encouragement that such a valuation might be lowered but, with the Napoli president, Aurelio de Laurentiis, insistent the get-out must be triggered, they have taken a step back to consider their next move.
That had left Madrid, with Ancelotti installed and the president, Florentino Pérez, keen to offer a statement of grand intent, apparently in pole position to secure the Uruguayan following his involvement in the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
De Laurentiis indicated on Tuesday night that no formal offer had been received but reports in France suggest Cavani’s agent, Pierpaolo Triulzi, was in Paris on Monday and met PSG’s technical director, Leonardo.
Leonardo had reportedly made contact with De Laurentiis last month to prepare the ground, with relations between the clubs apparently strong following Ezequiel Lavezzi’s move from Naples to Parc des Princes a year ago.
Cavani, who is contracted until 2017, departed on holiday following Uruguay’s defeat by Italy in the third-place play-off at the Confederations Cup on Sunday but anticipates meeting the Napoli president on his return “to look at my future with my representatives”.
De Laurentiis has indicated there is no need to hold any such meeting given no club has tabled a sufficient bid for the striker.
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