Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik, Ezequiel Lavezzi: Napoli Should Sell All Three

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIFebruary 21, 2012

Napoli owner Aurelio Di Laurentiis has invited Europe's elite to make offers for Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Di Laurentiis would be wise to sell all three.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, film producer Di Laurentiis said whilst the Partenopei don't need the money for their three main stars, they would listen to offers from clubs for the trio.

"If they have the money to pay, I am waiting for the offers."

"...Thanks to God, I don’t need the money from anyone. I am rich enough to survive."

"But if somebody wants to make an offer, we are here to listen. You never to close the door to anyone because we are polite."

"If someone wants to make an offer, they can make an offer. We can laugh off their offer if we are not satisfied or we can say: 'Let’s sit down and discuss this'."

"In life, there is a always a price for everything. It is just a question of the right moment and the right people."

Napoli, who lie sixth in Serie A, are in a healthy position financially and have posted profits for the last five consecutive years.

Di Laurentiis took over the club in 2004 when they were in Serie C, the Italian third division, and through fantastic financial management has engineered their rise back up to the top of the first division.

As the owner himself pointed out, only Arsenal and Bayern Munich are the other teams in the UEFA Champions League last 16 with a positive bank balance sheet.

However, to safeguard the club's status in the higher echelons of Italian and European football, they would be wise to sell Cavani, Hamsik and Lavezzi, even though the trio have been instrumental up front for the side this season.

Cavani, the team's pure striker, has scored 22 goals in 30 games this season, proving his stellar finishing ability by tucking away the plethora of chances presented to him.

Meanwhile, the all-action modern winger that is Hamsik has scored eight goals and made five assists from 22 matches this term. He has also made 42 key passes.

Lavezzi, the player who—in terms of importance—is to Napoli what Lionel Messi is to FC Barcelona or what Cristiano Ronaldo is to Real Madrid—in 19 Serie A matches has scored five goals, made three assists, hit 46 key passes and created 11 one-on-ones for teammates.

The trio have contributed 35 goals to Napoli this season, and are the attacking force which has thrust the team into a European heavyweight. 

But, they are also players who can be sold for an incredibly high price.

Manchester United safeguarded their status at the top when they sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a record £80 million.

Napoli can easily do the same given that Cavani's true estimated transfer market value is £24.5 million, but could be the subject of a £40 million offer from Chelsea.

Hamsik's true estimate transfer market value is £21 million, but he's long been linked with a £35 million move to the likes of Manchester United.

And Lavezzi, who unlike the other two will only have one big money move in him at 26, is said to be worth at least £26 million and has been linked with Manchester City.

Overall, the club would be likely to receive at least £70 million from the sale of their big three stars and could earn as much as £100 million or more.

As the club currently lie sixth in the table and could miss out on the Champions League next season and maybe the Europa League given the threat from Inter Milan, AS Roma and SS Lazio, such money would allow Napoli to spend what they need to get back up to the top without going into the red.

Given that they've also earned a lot already from their Champions League exploits—the club has already pocketed £11.2 million in prize money alone, and treble that figure including gate receipts, TV revenue, added merchandise sales, improved brand equity, etc.—the club could still run the same way it is now even without European football next season.

If they sold their three main stars, they'd have a colossal transfer war chest to rebuild appropriately.

Even if the impact of Cavani, Hamsik and Lavezzi wasn't replaced with new signings, Napoli still have enough depth in their team.

They already have a strong core in their side, which are actually even more important than the attacking trio. And it doesn't look like they're separating soon.

Gokhan Inler pulls the strings in the heart of midfield, with Hugo Campagnaro as a defensive colossus. And, Morgan de Sanctis is hugely reliable in goal.

Hamsik doesn't even need to be replaced with a new summer signing, given that the young and super talented Eduardo Vargas—signed in January from Universidad de Chile for £11.5 million—is waiting in the wings.

If Cavani goes, Goran Pandev will have the chance to step up to the plate, should Napoli sign him permanently.

Macedonia legend Pandev is hitting the athletic peak of his career at 28 and has scored five goals and made two assists from 12 starts this season.

The only man who really needs to be replaced with a new signing is Lavezzi, the one-of-a-kind creative player who could be called Mr. Napoli.

With a huge transfer budget at their disposal, the club could sign the best replacement their money and status can buy.

If the Partenopei sold their three main stars, bought a star replacement for Lavezzi and added a few depth signings to keep the quality and numbers right, the club would be in an unbelievably strong position for the seasons ahead.

If they miss out on Champions League or even Europa League football and do the above, it wouldn't be long before they were not only back in the world's most prestigious club competition, but also competing for the Serie A title.


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