The transfer market is a battleground where Premier League titles can be lost and won. At Chelsea and Manchester City money may be no object but they will be all too aware that an abundance of riches does not guarantee success.
One thing it does ensure though is that when any world class players become available both clubs are always near the front of the queue, due to their financial backing.
This is where Edinson Cavani steps in. The Napoli striker has been in scintillating form in the last two and a half seasons in Serie A. He has struck the back of the net 67 times in the League alone. The Uruguayan looked more than comfortable on the Champions League stage also. Chelsea will be all too familiar with how he tore their defence to shreds in the first leg of their last 16 encounter in Europe’s elite competition last season at the Stadio San Paolo. Man City will remember him as well for the role he played in their early Champions League exit too.
When the transfer window re-opens on July 1st it appears that now will be the time when the 26 year old will finally leave after intense speculation for the last few summers.
The list of clubs that can afford him is very short. The interest from abroad has been very tentative as clubs have winced at the transfer fee involved. This won’t scare off Chelsea or Man city though. There is a strong suspicion that one of these two Premier League giants will finally flex their financial muscles and meet the £52 million release clause that would ensure Cavani’s move to the England. They both desperately need him too.
There is a clear awareness at Chelsea that they need a centre forward to fill the missing piece to their jigsaw puzzle. Fernando Torres still flatters to deceive in spite of receiving numerous chances, and Demba Ba is merely holding the fort until a star walks through the doors.
Manchester City clearly possess stellar names in their front line capable of magnificence on their day in the shape of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez. Roberto Mancini though is aware that he is one striker light. Mario Balotelli has left a void to be filled, but this won’t be a main motivator for Man City to not miss out on signing one of Europe’s hottest properties this summer. Robin Van Persie has constantly provided painful reminders this campaign, how costly missing out on a truly sensational striker to a title rival can come back to haunt you.
Should both clubs pursue Cavani as expected which option would suit him best? This is a very close call.
If he were to move to Chelsea he would instantly be the protagonist of the piece. He would be the fulcrum of the forward line at Stamford Bridge. The £50 million + transfer is not something that would weigh on his shoulders either. The fans in West London will know that he can’t do any worse than the last signing they splashed this sort of money on.
Cavani would also have a superb supporting cast in the shape of Oscar, Mata and Hazard. Chelsea are re-building a team for the future and one striker could once again make them a formidable force.
It would not all be rosy though. If he needed another world class striker to share the work rate from time to time, he would not be afford this luxury for the Blues. He would constantly be expected to save the day when Stamford Bridge expects a goal.
There is also the uncertainty over the managerial situation at Chelsea currently. If he was to sign before a permanent manager was appointed he could be taking a huge risk that he may not like the style of play under the boss appointed. Even if he was to like his new manager at the Bridge how long do they even last under Abramovich?
Manchester City too have uncertainty over the future of Roberto Mancini but the managerial situation is nowhere near as tenuous as it is for Chelsea.
Sheikh Mansour is highly likely to give his Italian boss another crack of the whip at the end of the season and a chance to achieve success.
This would be influential factor in Edinson Cavani’s decision, you suspect, as Mancini has regularly stated his desire to bring the forward to the Etihad, which must be a huge lure for the South American ace.
Whilst a move to London may represent being part of a rejuvenation project, this is not what a move to Man City would be.
He would be amongst a clutch of stars and he definitely would not be the only headline name at Manchester City. What he would provide is another option they are certainly missing up top.
Cavani offers a direct aerial threat as well as the capability to provide efficient link up play should he play with either of the Argentine duo of Tevez and Aguero. The fact that effective forwards currently reside in the blue half of Manchester means that the Uruguayan international will by no means be expected to do all the work himself.
The support cast at Chelsea is strong but so too is the one they possess at Man City with Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri. He would not lose out on service at either club.
At Man City there was no certainty that Cavani would be needed or used at the end of last campaign.
This Summer he will be aware that he could provide a final push to a club that is destined for stardom.
Once they crack the Champions League which you suspect they will next season Man City will be a force to be reckoned with.
At Chelsea there is far less guarantee of success and he need look no further than to the transfer of Eden Hazard to see how moving to Stamford Bridge as one of Europe’s most wanted assets does not always work out immediately.
Cavani would need to hit the ground running at either club he would transfer to and at 26 years of age he has hit his peak. If he wants a club that can instantly satisfy his desires in the Premier League though then he should look no further than Manchester City.
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