Only a couple of days ago, the media was awash with reports that Manchester United had belatedly joined the race to sign the Napoli striker, Edison Cavani. In what looks likely to be the transfer saga of this summer, the plot has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel!
In the first place, it was assumed that clubs with billionaire owners would be the likely destination for the gifted striker, however, one by one they have been dropping out like flies. Firstly the usual culprits like PSG and Monaco had already spent vast sums on players, so they were ruled out, especially after a tap on the shoulder from M. Platini and his FFP squad.
This last week, we have heard that Manchester City have officially pulled out from dealings because they are unwilling to pay the buyout clause of £53m. That left Chelsea in the driving seat, but yesterday they too announced that they will not pay over £40m for the player; not surprising really, given the number of costly flops they have bought in the striker department. Real Madrid seems to have their attention elsewhere, with new manager Ancelotti looking at Luis Suarez as a cheaper option.
That now leaves David Moyes and Manchester United in pole position if, as the media have suggested, they are willing to offer as much as £50m for the player. That fee, coupled with the players demands for a salary of £300,000 a week, would rule out most clubs, even those with rich owners, because of the implications of the FFP rules, however, United have more than enough income to cover this; they already pay Rooney and Van Persie the same figure.
Napoli`s new manager, Rafael Benitez has publicly stated that he wants the player to stay, but that looks more likely because the player scored most of their goals last season and was the top scorer in Serie A with 29. Benitez has conceded that there is a buyout clause and that there are people willing to pay it, although he would not name any clubs.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of next week’s talks between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney to give an indication as to how serious United are about Napoli`s 26 year old striker.