Chelsea Get Smart by Giving Up Edinson Cavani Chase

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

Chelsea have reportedly pulled the plug on their pursuit of Edinson Cavani.
Chelsea have reportedly pulled the plug on their pursuit of Edinson Cavani.Clive Mason/Getty Images

If reports are to be believed in the Daily Mail on Wednesday, then Chelsea fans should be rejoicing, flying those blue flags high from the King's Road roof tops.

The tabloid suggests Roman Abramovich has vetoed a move for Napoli's Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, suggesting the Blues' owner is eager to avoid a bidding war with Paris Saint-Germain, who themselves are believed to have bid £43 million for his services.

It's smart business sense from Chelsea and a sign the club is finally getting their house in order when it comes to splashing the cash on marquee signings.

More so than any other transfers this summer, this could be Chelsea's best move.

Let's face it, whenever the Blues have paid big money for a big name, it's come back to haunt them. The mere thought of Andrey Shevchenko's ill-fated spell following his £30 million move from AC Milan in 2006 is enough to bring on a cold sweat for most supporters, while Fernando Torres' £50 million transfer has had its ups and downs.

Despite his critics, the Spaniard has shown signs of returning to his best, scoring a magnificent solo effort in the Europa League this May as the Blues lifted the trophy. Yet he still has the demeanor of a man carrying the weight of expectation, appearing one bad performance away from another crisis.

Like Torres before him, Cavani has shown why he is coveted by clubs that include Real Madrid (via Sky Sports) and Manchester City (via Daily Mail). A return of 36 goals for Napoli in 2012-13 speaks volumes; yet spending in excess of £50 million to bring him to the Premier League is no guarantee of success. When considering there are cheaper and equally as talented alternatives on the market, it doesn't make much sense either.

Reflecting on Torres' move from Liverpool in January 2011, it smacked of a club desperate to beat their rivals to his signing. It was a rush job, with the ticking clock of the January transfer window forcing Chelsea's hand.

Had the Blues not brought him south to London at that very moment, there was no guarantee Manchester City wouldn't follow up their reported interest from the previous year when they were expected to bid £70 million (via Metro).

The Blues had been expecting Didier Drogba to leave that summer and they needed his replacement in place as they planned for life without the Ivorian.

It didn't quite work to plan and what we've since seen is Torres become suffocated, as the load of his transfer fee gets heavier with every bad touch or missed opportunity.

But Chelsea have learned from their mistakes it would seem. Rather than go toe-to-toe with a major rival, Abramovich isn't allowing his ego or that of the club's to get in the way of business this time.

With the signs pointing to another clash of financial clout, the Mail's report indicates the Blues are now willing to step aside and focus their attentions on Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski—players who are probably better alternatives to Cavani anyhow.

At 24, Borussia Dortmund's Lewandowski is two years Cavani's junior and is expected to cost half the fee given his contract expires next season. He's a rising star.

Where Rooney's concerned, the Manchester United man has a decade's worth of Premier League experience and call it blind patriotism, but being English means he would bring a vital characteristic the Stamford Bridge dressing room is lacking.

Jose Mourinho's first spell saw him build the team around an English backbone and wherever the Portuguese has travelled he's understood the importance of having local talent at his disposal. There aren't many world class English players on the market right now, neither are there many in the positions Chelsea need strengthening. On that basis alone, Rooney would be a smart move.

When considering Cavani, Chelsea need only recall the errors they made with Torres. They cannot take that gamble again. Nor should they.