Uruguay international Edinson Cavani will leave Serie A club Napoli in the summer, according to agent Mino Raiola. The 45 year old Italian represents a number of top stars, including Paris St Germain's (PSG) Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester City's Italian international Mario Balotelli and Liverpool's summer signing Oussama Assaidi.
"For now Cavani will stay, but I wouldn't be so sure about that once June arrives," Raiola was quoted as saying in a talkSport report, adding, "I'm sure there are clubs ready to pay that. But only five clubs in the world can afford to do that - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain. You are intelligent enough on your own to understand where Cavani will play his football next season."
The 25 year old South American has been in sensational goal-scoring form in recent seasons. He joined the Naples club in 2010 and has struck 62 times in the Serie A since then, from 85 appearances. And that scoring rate continues in European competitions as well, with 17 goals in 21 appearances in the Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Cavani was linked with a £35m move to either Premier League champions City or European champions Chelsea in the summer. The Blues' transfer approach was reportedly withdrawn after Cavani demanded £150,000 per week. However, in any case the Italian club were predictably reluctant to sell their star and president Aurelio De Laurentiis slapped a £78m price tag on the striker
"Cavani is not for sale, but we could let him go for €100m (£78m). This is not his actual value, but his value to me and he won't leave for less," De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia.
The striker's re-adjusted contract , according to talkSport, includes a £60m release clause.
Back for Ba
Meanwhile, the Blues' hunt for a new striker continues. The Stamford Bridge club are expected to confirm 23 year old Daniel Sturridge's move to Liverpool shortly and that leaves only £50m Spanish international Fernando Torres as a senior striker.
The club have been linked with Demba Ba this month. The 27 year old Senegalese international has been in superb form this season, with 13 Premier League goals in 20 appearances. And with a £7m release clause in his contract, the Newcastle United forward represents a wonderful bargain buy for any top club, something Roman Abramovich will be well aware of.
An earlier Daily Mail report indicated discussions between Ba and Chelsea had broken down but talkSport now states the transfer is likely to be completed soon. And Goal.com has now revealed Ba has been given permission to speak to the Blues. The report quotes a statement from the St James' Park club's Web site, which confirms the Senegalese will not be part of the side that faces Everton in the midweek game.
"Newcastle United can confirm that Chelsea Football Club has made an official offer for Demba Ba which has triggered the release clause in the player's contract. The Club has given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight's game against Everton."