Chelsea appear all-but out of the race to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, after Paris Saint-Germain confirmed that they were in negotiations to complete a deal for the in-demand Uruguayan. The Blues are thought to have made a substantial offer for Cavani, but are not prepared to meet his €63 million (£54.3m) release clause. That, though, is unlikely to be a problem for PSG, with La Parisien reporting that Cavani could sign for the French champions on a €10 million (£8.6m) a year contract on Tuesday. And PSG’s sporting director Leonardo has hinted that a deal is close.
"We presented De Laurentiis with an offer that I consider really interesting," he said, according to Sky Sports. "The negotiations continue. We will remain in contact and, in these next few days, there could be news."
Cavani has seemed increasingly close to an exit this summer after criticizing Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis’ refusal to accept anything less than his buyout clause as well as insisting that the player decide on his future by July 20. Yet, it remains to be seen whether Cavani will want a move to PSG over other suitors Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Still, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely already exploring alternatives for the leading striker he desires. And, according to the Daily Mirror, the Blues have already made an inquiry for Cavani’s countryman Luis Suarez. The speculation comes amid news that Arsenal have made an initial £30 million bid for the Liverpool forward, which was immediately rejected. While Suarez has said on more than one occasion that he wants to leave Anfield, he has also insisted that the primary reason was to get away from the scrutiny of the British press. That, combined with Liverpool’s reluctance to sell to a Premier League rival, makes Suarez’s arrival at Stamford Bridge unlikely.
Less high profile is Chelsea’s search for a backup to Petr Cech. With Hilario and Ross Turnbull being allowed to leave and Thibaut Courtois spending a third season on loan at Atletico Madrid, Mourinho is currently left undermanned on the goalkeeping front. It appears that Norwich City’s John Ruddy has become the prime target and, according to Sky Sports, Chelsea have had a second bid rejected for the 26-year-old.
Ruddy was a standout for Norwich in 2011-12, earning a first England cap, but missed a lot of last season through injury. Still, it would be a major decision for Ruddy were he to agree to go to a club where he would be second-choice and almost certainly rule out his chances of featuring in next year’s World Cup.
Also on Mourinho’s agenda is signing an imposing midfield presence. The Daily Mirror believes that Roma’s Daniele de Rossi is a leading target, with the Italy international also keen on Chelsea. De Rossi was strongly linked with Manchester City before deciding to stay at the club where he has spent his entire career. But the 29-year-old could finally depart this transfer window, although his reported salary of £5.5 million after tax could pose a problem.