NAPLES ITALY - JANUARY 15: Edinson Cavani of Napoi in action during the Serie A match between Napoli and Fiorentina at Stadio San Paolo on January 15 2011 in Naples Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis is a bit of a strange man. You may remember him from when he stormed out of last year's Serie A calendar meeting and drove away on a stranger's scooter in protest of Napoli's (admittedly very tough) schedule. That incident sums up all you need to know about the man.
Having already lost Ezequiel Lavezzi this summer, he desperately wants to keep star striker Edinson Cavani around. Chelsea's supposed interest in said striker is, therefore, not making him very happy. The rumours floating around have the Blues supposedly bidding for the the Uruguay international and supposedly offering him wages in the realm of £120,000 per week (€8M a year), and de Laurentiis has responded to them directly:
Cavani? He can rot on the bench if he asks for €7-8m.
-Source: Football Italia.
Oh, that zany de Laurentiis, eh?
Anyway, I'm starting to get a clearer picture of where Chelsea's supposed pursuit of Cavani is coming from. The Daily Mail dropped the 'Chelsea are bidding' bomb basically out of nowhere, complete with salary demands, which raised several red flags. The fact that Cavani is negotiating a new contract with improved terms to stay and Napoli gives us some more warning signs.
At this point, I'd bet that the rumoured Chelsea interest is a leak by Cavani's agents designed to aid him in getting as big a contract as possible with Napoli. The signs certainly seem to be pointing this way, with salary demands flying around in public during negotations, and we've seen this sort of thing before (see: every Sergio Ramos to Chelsea rumour ever).
The Blues are a pretty easy target here. We're throwing money around, have a question mark at centre forward and we've seen Cavani up close. But Cavani doesn't really make a whole lot of sense in terms of our general rebuild -- there's plenty of reason to be skeptical that Chelsea's interest is particularly strong, and plenty of reason for him and his representatives to be talking it up, even if it is imaginary.
So, yeah, I think we (and I guess more importantly Napoli) are being played by agents here. Don't get your Cavani hopes up.