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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Will Arsenal, Chelsea or City bring Edinson Cavani to England?


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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his admiration for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. When asked about speculation linking the Gunners with the Napoli striker, who has scored 16 Serie A goals this season, Wenger said: "Cavani is a player that I like. Will he cost a lot of money? That's for sure. Nobody would deny that. [But] our banker lives just next to me at the moment and he is ready if we find the right player."

And it's easy to see what all the fuss is about. The Uruguayan international is 25, an all-action goal machine and is attracting the interest of the top clubs in Europe. Since moving to Napoli in 2010 he has scored 66 goals in 88 appearances. That is a fantastic return for any striker.

CavaniCavani would be a great signing for Arsenal. He would prove a much more potent threat up front than Giroud, who is still finding his feet in the English game. However, in recent days, Wenger has reportedly cooled his interest and claimed there will be no move for the striker in this window, as he tries to pip Manchester United to the signature of young Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

That decision could turn out to be suicidal for the Gunners. They are struggling to get in the top four and Cavani will surely only move to a club that can offer him Champions League football. Not only that but Wenger's public interest will also have awakened Chelsea's and Manchester City's desire to sign him, thus presenting Wenger with another Juan Mata scenario. Cavani's admission to the squad now would give the Gunners a huge lift and boost their hopes of finishing in the top four.

But what will Cavani's next move be?

Well there's good news for Arsenal fans. Despite Wenger's recent attempts to play down a move the bookies make Arsenal 5/2 favourites to clinch his signature - and the bookies hardly ever get it wrong. But then this is Mr McWenger, the tightest manager on the planet. In fact he is so tight he had double glazing fitted so the kids couldn't hear the ice cream van!

Arsenal could well be blown out of the water by Chelsea or Manchester City, who are both priced at 7/1. Despite just signing Demba Ba, Chelsea are always in the hunt for a new striker, particularly as Fernando Torres continues to be a pale shadow of his former self, while City may be preparing to offload Balotelli in order to bring Cavani in. But will Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini still be at their respective clubs come the start of next season? Chelsea fans have been pleading with the Lord for someone to take Rafa away while Mancini could well be replaced if he fails to win any silverware. Would Cavani want to take that jump into the unknown?

But England is not Cavani's only option. Big-spending PSG are in the mix, as are Spanish giants Real Madrid, again both at 7/1. Liverpool, who have just signed Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea, are 10/1, with Bayern Munich and Juventus at 16/1, with AC Milan, Barcelona, Inter and Manchester United all at 20/1.

Cavani is an awesome talent and would shine in whatever league he chooses to ply his trade in, but will he pick the Premier League as his next destination?

Calling all Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City fans: Would you like to see Cavani at your club? Who do you think will win the race for his signature? Will he move in January or in the summer? How highly do you rate him? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

(All prices at Paddy Power were correct at time of publishing)

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Colin Illingworth

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