Reports in the last 24 hours have suggested that Napoli’s much sought after hitman Edinson Cavani has decided he loves the romantic city enough to sign a 5-year deal with French giants Paris Saint-Germain. This is a blow to Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid, who were all hoping to sign him. So, has Cavani used his ‘Ed and made the right choice, or will it prove to be the wrong move for him.
Cavani started out in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo in 2005, playing there for two years before making the move to the Italian Serie A, initially joining Sicilian club Palermo. He spent three years in Sicily, scoring 35 goals before joining Napoli in 2010, on what was initially a loan deal. Napoli bought him after the loan expired for €17m , and it was with Napoli he won his first major honour, in 2012 winning the Coppa Italia and finishing Serie A’s second top scorer with 23 goals, 33 overall. He scored two notable goals in the Champions League tie with Chelsea at the Stadio San Paola, before missing a sitter in the second leg at 0-0 as Napoli collapsed and went out 4-3 (4-1 on the night) in extra time. The club went on to finish fifth in the table as Cavani flourished with Lavezzi and Hamsik around him.
The 2012-13 season saw Napoli finish second as Cavani further flourished despite the sale of Ezequiel Lavezzi to PSG, and he finished the season with 38 goals in all competitions, with 28 coming in just 34 appearances in the league. Napoli themselves finished a distant 9 points off the pace set by all conquering Juventuse, but were comfortably in the Champions League places as they finished eight points ahead of 4th placed Fiorentina.
In the close season, the rumour mill has well and truly gone into overdrive regarding Cavani’s future. Only last night Sky Italia revealed that he had agreed personal terms with PSG, as ‘Les Parisiens’ have reportedly offered him €8m to join them, which would enable him to link up with former teammates Lavezzi and Javier Pastore. The release clause of £54m is one that ‘Les Rouge-et-Bleu’ are happy to meet, unlike the other three. Chelsea baulked at that clause, whilst City’s bid of “only” £50m was rejected by Napoli, who were holding out for £54m. Has Cavani made a mistake by not angling for a move to England or Spain.
Well, finances will certainly not be a problem if he were to go to another of the before mentioned clubs. Chelsea can afford to pay him well, and Manchester City are known to pay astronomical wages, wheoever they buy. Aguero is on £200,000 per week, and Yaya Toure has just signed a deal worth £240,000 per week. This would far outweigh what Napoli can afford to pay him. Chelsea’s current high-earners are Fernando Torres (£200k), Eden Hazard (£180k) and Frank Lampard (£151k). Again, Cavani would fall into that bracket. Real Madrid are known to pay huge amounts, in part due to Spain’s harsh tax laws and in part due to the fact that they are funded by Spain’s king, Juan Carlos II. Cavani would again be one of the highest of higher earners. At PSG, it is rumoured he will be getting £290,000 per week. About £90,000 more than he would at the other clubs listed, and that salary would only be matched in real terms by Monaco, since they have no tax there they would be able to pay him less money, but after tax Cavani could well have more.
He would get definitely get into Real Madrid’s first team, as Gonzalo Higuaín’s seemingly endless transfer to Arsenal finally appears to be gathering pace. Manchester City have just sold Carlos Tevez to Juventus, leaving them with two recognised strikers only. Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. They therefore need another striker.
Chelsea have 3 very capable strikers, all of whom have proven they can score goals in the Premier League. Demba Ba scored 15 league goals for both Chelsea and Newcastle during a successful 2012-13 campaign, whilst youngster Romelu Lukaku answered those who heavily criticised him for a disappointing first season with Chelsea, going out on loan to West Bromwich Albion and setting the world alight there. He finished on 17 league goals, including a second half hattrick in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in management, dragging his team from 5-2 down to draw 5-5 in one of the season’s most memorable matches. And then there is Fernando Torres, the man every opposing fan loved to hate at one point. He came to life in the second half of the season and was a key playerin Chelsea’s Europa League winning campaign, scoring 23 goals last season. Not bad for a striker everyone claimed was ‘past it’ and had ‘lost his touch’. And everyone remembers the last time Chelsea signed an Italian based striker. Andrei Shevchenko’s infamous spell at Stamford Bridge produced 13 goals in two years.
Roman Abramovich is well aware of the Financial Fair Play rules. The signing of André Schurrle and imminent arrival of Marco Van Ginkel will cost £26m. Considering last year’s outlay of over £80m Chelsea need to be careful. It is reported that he has instructed Mourinho to put an emphasis on youth, as a result of UEFA’s FFP regulations. Their stadium is also quite small in comparison to other clubs of a similar size. Manchester City have signed a £400m sponsorship deal with United Arab Emirates based airline Etihad airways, leaving them slightly more room to manoeuvre. Their stadium is also bigger, so it is likely more income will come from the stadium. Real Madrid can also movely freely, as they and Barcelona get a lot of the TV revenue from La Liga, a much higher proportion than the English clubs get. Also, as they are backed in part by the king they are very unlikely to hit any financial obstacles at all, meaning they could fund a Cavani deal.
So, now that Cavani appears to have made his move, time will tell as to whether he has used his Ed’ or whether Paris will do his Edin’. PSG promise an annual crack at Ligue 1, and Monaco appear to be PSG’s only real challengers for the domestic crown. Manchester City and Chelsea would also promise silverware, and Real Madrid are virtually guaranteed to win something in Spain. PSG do not have as yet the credentials to challenge in Europe as yet, something the other three do. It’s not until at least two years down the line that we will know whether Cavani is correct.