Napoli are becoming increasingly resigned to losing their talismanic striker Edinson Cavani with Manchester City so far ahead in the race for his signature the chasing pack are now concentrating their attentions entirely elsewhere.
Contrary to numerous reports Chelsea are not – and never seriously were – in the reckoning to sign the Uruguayan hit man who has scored an astonishing 66 goals in 94 Serie A matches and has formed such a devastating front trio alongside Hamsik and Lavezzi.
Juventus meanwhile are in the process of off-loading peripheral figures to free up the reputed £30m required to swoop for their sole attacking target Robin van Persie after encountering nothing but obstacles in their pursuit of Cavani. A speculative bid of cash plus fringe players was met with disdain by the Naples club and now the grand old lady is putting all her eggs in one basket in their determination to secure the Arsenal forward who has been their number one choice all along but previously appeared to be unattainable.
Ironically van Persie was also widely known to be City’s preferred option but Mancini has now privately acknowledged the move is extremely unlikely with the player resolved to moving abroad and relations between City and Arsenal still frosty to say the least following last summer’s snatching of Clichy and Nasri.
Which leaves Cavani for City, a player Mancini has long been an ardent admirer of telling Tuttosport recently that the 25 year old ‘has everything’ and admitting to making a prior attempt to sign him for Inter.
Cavani spoke this week of his desire to stay at Napoli but it is the Cutter’s exclusive understanding that he has informed the club he is only interested in moving to City should they decide to seriously consider any offers. With the Italian side failing to qualify for next season’s Champion’s League their position is significantly weakened and they already face losing the marauding Lavezzi to PSG, a move that should be concluded in the days ahead.
An intriguing caveat to the deal lies in Napoli’s interest in Nigel de Jong. They may have dismissed the idea of players being included in Juventus’ approach but the City enforcer is firmly in their sights and could well be used as a makeweight in one of the biggest transfer deals this year. This however remains speculation on our part at this point in time.
Cavani is currently enjoying a summer break but is due to spend several weeks in London representing his country at the Olympics. Expect plenty of feverish – and entirely erroneous – speculation linking the forward to Chelsea whilst City conclude terms swiftly and quietly.