As one of the hottest commodities on the open market today, it should come as no surprise that several teams are in the running for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. In order to ensure that its EPL rival doesn't surpass it, however, Manchester City must beat Chelsea in the race for Cavani.
According to John Drayton of the Daily Mail, Cavani's mother told a Uruguayan radio station that her son is in talks with both Manchester City and Real Madrid in addition to Chelsea. Nothing has been decided, but it figures to be a heavyweight battle between three giants of European soccer.
"Edi is talking to Madrid and City," said [Cavani's mother, Berta] Gómez, according to Spanish media.
"The Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has spoken to Chelsea but there’s nothing concrete."
Cavani had a spectacular 2012-13 season with Napoli as he scored 38 goals in 43 appearances, and he has been one of the best strikers in the world for the past three years. Cavani has 104 goals in 138 matches for Napoli, so it is only natural that many of Europe's big-money teams have come knocking at his door.
Not only would acquiring Cavani allow Man City to move Carlos Tevez if it so chooses, but it would also make The Citizens' attack even more dangerous. Cavani scored more goals this past season than City's top three scorers combined as Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero netted 37 as a trio.
Also, bringing in Cavani would hit Chelsea where it hurts. Manchester City's first priority should be improving itself, but hurting Chelsea in the process is appealing as well. The Blues finished just three points behind City this past season in the EPL standings, so Cavani could easily make the difference.
It's difficult to imagine The Sky Blues holding off Chelsea once again next year if Chelsea is able to bring the Uruguayan star to Stamford Bridge. According to Tancredi Palmeri of CNN, Chelsea has made Napoli a substantial offer for Cavani.
Manchester City can't sit back and wait because that offer has to be quite appealing to Napoli. This is the first reported all-cash deal from either City or Chelsea, as Wayne Veysey of Goal.com reported that they were previously offering a combination of cash and a player exchange rather than cash only.
The ball is suddenly in City's court, so it's now or never.
There is no question that a fee exceeding €50 million is massive, but Cavani is one of the few players in the world capable of making that type of impact. It ultimately comes down to whether Manchester City cares more about winning or money, because Chelsea would most definitely be favored over City next season with Cavani in the fold.
Perhaps it wouldn't be fair to say that Manchester City struggled from a goal-scoring perspective last season, but it wasn't The Citizens' biggest strength. They were tied with Tottenham for fifth in the EPL in scoring with 66 goals, so Cavani would add a dimension to the team from which City would really benefit.
Manchester City also finished 11 points behind Manchester United, so something has to be done in order to bridge that gap a bit. The addition of Cavani would not only make Man City a bigger threat to Man Utd on the pitch, but it would also help The Citizens psychologically, as they could match up from a talent standpoint with the Red Devils.
This Cavani situation figures to devolve into a bidding war, and while winning a bidding war doesn't always guarantee success, there are too many factors involved for Man City to simply say no to a talent like Cavani.
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