Chelsea officials have told Napoli that they will not meet their £53million release clause for Uruguayan striker Edison Cavani and will cap their bid at £40million.
The top scorer in Serie A last season is the subject of bids from both the London club and Real Madrid but with the Spanish giants looking to have switched their focus to Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, Napoli may be left with only one suitor for Cavani.
The player himself believes that the release clause is too high and yesterday begged his parents to stop discussing his future in public as it is hurting his chances of a move away from Naples.
“My father has talked about Real? I want to point out that these words are not coming from me. I’ve asked my parents a thousand times not to say any more. They can only hurt me,” he told the press yesterday.
“I belong to Napoli as it stands and that depends on the club. If another option presents itself, we will evaluate it.”
When quizzed further about his own desire to play for Real Madrid the striker talked up the club but tempered his desire with the wish to remain loyal to the club were he made his name in Europe.
“I will make myself clear on this point too – I’ve always said they’re one of the best clubs in the world. We’ve all dreamed of playing for them, as we have with Barcelona, but now I’m at Napoli and very proud of the fact.
“If I leave the blue shirt behind one day, I will only do so to join a big club. Obviously there would be some fans who would understand and others who wouldn’t. But I don’t want to slip out of a back door, I want to walk out of the front door, on the day that finally happens.”
New Napoli boss Rafa Benitez has said that he will do his best to keep Cavani but recognises that once the clause is met it is out of his hands.
“Clearly, there is a clause that you can’t control, but we want him to stay to score many goals and to continue growing with Napoli,” he told Spanish radio yesterday.
“He found success and fame with this team and he can stay for another year with supporters who love him. Napoli don’t need the money. Should he leave, it will be for his clause, and it’s a really high sum. But our intention is that he will stay.
“The president’s intention is to strengthen the team and Cavani is our most important player. I don’t know if he has had any offers, but I know there is a clause and anyone who wants him will have to pay it.”