Is Edinson Cavani really worth £54m?

The Uruguay international has also been a target for Chelsea this summer

“We will know everything about [Edinson] Cavani’s future by the end of July. If not, I'll smack him!” joked Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis when quizzed about the constant transfer speculation surrounding his star striker earlier this month. The eccentric boss admitted to negotiations with Chelsea, but his insistence on potential suitors meeting a colossal £54m buy-out clause meant a move had stalled.

The 26-year-old was representing Uruguay in the Confederations Cup at the time, where hosts Brazil ultimately knocked them out, and his employer’s unique sense of humor was lost on him. “Those statements were strong and I did not really like them very much,” explained the much sought after striker, “I now want to speak to him face-to-face, like we have done on many separate occasions in the past.”

De Laurentiis was adamant talks with Cavani were “not necessary” when discussing the situation, and once again cited the buy-out clause as the only way any outfit could lure him to the negotiations table. Real Madrid remained the player’s first choice, according to several quotes attributed to his parents.

The entire affair has distraught the San Paolo faithful. “Ciao Cavani. A king dies, another one is created,” was an example of banners and t-shirts circulating the city in recent weeks. Rafael Benítez was appointment as Partenopei manager, but whether the forward would remain to surpass Diego Maradona’s 115 goals with the club or sign for one of Europe’s finest teams continued to overshadow the project.  

The news that Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo was in De Laurentiis’s Filmauro film producing offices in Rome last week was the first major update in the saga for several weeks. It was then revealed that the French champions had met the clause in the former Palermo man’s contract until 2017. Personal terms have been reportedly been set at a significant £8.5m a season in a four-year deal.

Whether the Salto native is worth the incredible cost considering the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suárez and even Wayne Rooney appearing available for a considerably shorter fee remains the real question. His outstanding ability infront of goal - with 78 strikes in a mere three seasons at Napoli - was not the full package, as he is a complete player with a tireless work rate, which truly cements his place as world class.

Juventus boss Antonio Conte smirked when the subject of Cavani finalising a move to Paris was brought up in his first press conference of the new season. “PSG have given Napoli a great gift. I wished he would stay because we have almost always beaten them with him. Now they have £54m to spend instead.” The statement will not be appreciated by his arch rivals, but definitely hits home on just how much he costs.

Cavani will be missed throughout the peninsula; another top player leaving the country for a supposed lesser league such as Ligue 1 will always be perceived as a blow. Carlo Ancelotti’s move to Madrid and Leonardo’s resignation in his role in Paris was greeted with mild celebrations by Serie A supporters, as it means the club will tone down its focus on importing talent for Italy during every transfer window.

Napoli can now move onto the next chapter in their history. The memories of Cavani’s time with the club will forever be cherished despite the abrupt reaction to his outlook in the last two months. Winning a Coppa Italia in 2012 was the team’s first piece of silverware since the days of Maradona, and for that he will certainly be remembered and appreciated as a genuine hero while he takes the next step in his career.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?