Manchester City have twice failed to land Napoli striker Edinson Cavani after their second offer of €55m was rejected by the Italian side.

Spanish newspaper AS has claimed that Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini sanctioned an original offer of €40m for Cavani which would also have seen Edin Dzeko move in the opposite direction.

When this offer was rejected, City returned with an improved bid but they have still fallen well short of his €63m release clause which could now be activated by Real Madrid who are also keen to secure his signature.

Cavani has become one of the most sought after strikers in Europe after scoring more than 20 league goals for the third consecutive season at Napoli.

With Radamel Falcao joining Monaco earlier this summer, Cavani is now seen as the hottest prospect and it is believed that Real Madrid will enter the race for the Uruguayan once then have installed a new manager.

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez will be desperate to keep hold of the 26 year old but he knows that it will be near impossible if a club meets his release clause.

Manchester City have already shown in the current transfer window that they are prepared to spend big as they have already completed deals for Spanish winger Jesus Navas and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.

Should they have a third bid for Cavani accepted then it would take their spending to well over €100m on just three players.

However, even if they activate his clause then they would still have to negotiate a contract which could be difficult as Cavani has stated that he would love to one day play for Real Madrid.

"I am very calm about my future. Madrid are a great club and every player dreams of playing there," Cavani told Cadena COPE.

"I am a Napoli player for now, though, and I am focused on the Confederations Cup. It is not only up to me what the clubs decide. There are other factors that must be taken into account.

"There's a lot of talk about Madrid's interest, so we will see what happens. Nobody has said anything officially."