With David Moyes yet to make a major signing since being appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United, reports have emerged that he could be set to smash the club’s transfer record with a move for in-demand Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. The Daily Mirror claims that United will launch a £50 million bid for last season’s top scorer in Serie A.
Cavani is being chased by some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid. However, Napoli’s insistence that his €63 million (£53.5m) buyout clause be met has proved a major stumbling block. Cavani’s suitors are not the only ones to believe that the asking price is too high, with the player himself uncomfortable with his valuation and keen to seek talks with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis.
“I don't think I'm worth €63m,” the 26-year-old told Marca. “I will talk to De Laurentiis about it. I owe a lot to Napoli and I want to leave through the front door if I move on. I am feeling very good at Napoli, but it all depends on the club. We will have to wait and see what options I have. What I want to do is sit down face to face with the club president and decide my future together.”
Even if speculation of United’s interest proves correct, the Premier League champions face an uphill battle to secure Cavani’s signature. While disputing reports in Spain that Chelsea have already agreed a £49.3 million fee for Cavani, the London Evening Standard believes that talks between the clubs will begin this week. And the Uruguay international also seems keen on a move to Madrid.
"Real are one of the best clubs in the world, but there is no deal yet,” he explained. “When you're a kid, you dream about playing at a team like Madrid or Barcelona, but right now I'm at Napoli and I'm very proud to be there. If I leave one day, I'll be ready to move to a bigger club. We'll see."
If a bid from United was forthcoming, it would also lead to further doubts about the future of Wayne Rooney. The forward is set to meet with Moyes in the coming days to discuss where he stands at the club in relation to the disputed claims by Ferguson that Rooney had asked to leave.
According to the Sun, Barcelona have joined the list of clubs monitoring the 27-year-old’s predicament. The tabloid quotes “Barca sources” that suggest the Catalan giants would be interested in the player if he became available. The speculation follows claims in recent days that Real Madrid were also keen on Rooney, potentially as part of a part-exchange that would see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s failure to sign an extension to his contract at Madrid, which has just two years left to run, has meant that reports continue to swirl of Manchester United’s interest in the Portuguese star. Yet, Madrid president Florentino Perez has again insisted that there is no issue and Ronaldo will soon be signing a new deal.
"He's our most important asset, and we will build the future of Madrid around him,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "Soon we will clarify this issue. I have no doubt that Cristiano is going to retire at Real Madrid. I'm convinced that he'll renew. The renewals are done before the season starts."
In other news, the president of Spanish side Levante has revealed to the club’s TV station that he is not surprised with speculation that United are interested in their youngster David Remeseiro Salgueiro, known as Jason. The 18-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 26 appearances for the club’s youth side last season.