independent

Friday 18 April 2014

City out of Cavani race - Napoli

Edinson Cavani is one of Europe's hottest properties this summer

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has claimed Manchester City are not prepared to meet their £53.6million asking price for striker Edinson Cavani.

De Laurentiis has also said Real Madrid are the only club to have made an acceptable offer for the Uruguay forward while he has had no contact with Chelsea.

Cavani, who scored 38 goals last season, is one of the hottest properties in the world game and has been consistently linked with a big-money move. But it appears City's interest in the 26-year-old, who scored three goals against them in two Champions League games in 2011, could be cooling.

De Laurentiis, speaking at a press conference to unveil new manager Rafael Benitez, said: "Manchester City have not the money to pay for Cavani, they say, 'We don't pay that'. The Abu Dhabi (owners) have said they will never spend 63million euros for Cavani. They say, 'We can give other things', but they are not in the interest of our club."

De Laurentiis added that Real Madrid have made known their willingness to meet a release clause and he would expect the player to speak to the Spanish giants.

He said: "At this time, Real Madrid are the only club who have made a firm offer for Cavani. It is human, if Real Madrid call, to answer. He knows he has a clause and must decide."

As for Chelsea, De Laurentiis said: "Chelsea? Certain kind of agents may tell you Chelsea will call you, but maybe he has spoken with somebody who has spoken with somebody, who has spoken with somebody who says 'maybe'. My company never received a call. It is very difficult to pay the 63million (euros) because Financial Fair Play is conditioning everybody."

Cavani is currently with his national team at the Confederations Cup in Brazil. Benitez, who was in charge of Chelsea last season, says the player has made no decisions about his future but he would like him to stay.

The Spaniard said: "He is playing with his national team so we have not talked about his future. As the chairman has said, we will wait and see how he feels. He is an important player for us so we are very happy if he continues playing well and scoring goals."

City have already had a busy summer, having appointed Manuel Pellegrini as manager and spent close to £45million on Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho and Spain winger Jesus Navas. They have also been strongly linked with Malaga's Spain Under-21 playmaker Isco.

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