VERONA ITALY - FEBRUARY 02: Edinson Cavani of Napoli in action during the Serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and SSC Napoli at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on February 2 2011 in Verona Italy. (Photo by Roberto Serra/Getty Images)
We can probably put an end to any Edinson Cavani talk -- Aurelio de Laurentiis simply isn't having any of it. In an interview with Sky Sports, the Napoli owner was pretty clear about what's going to happen with the Uruguay striker, who, according to some reports, was perhaps Chelsea bound. Namely, he's staying in Naples:
Cavani non è in vendita ma a 100 milioni lo possiamo anche dare. Ciò non significa che questo è il suo valore, ma questo è il valore che ha per me.
A quick Google translation gives us something like:
Cavani is not for sale but we can also take 100 million. This does not mean that this is his value, but this is the value that he has for me.
I've said previously that I suspect that most of the supposed interest in Cavani from Chelsea and Juventus was a ploy to get de Laurentiis to increase his wages, and this doesn't do much to convince me I'm wrong. Cavani's representatives sent out a public message saying that their client would be paid a tonne if he went elsewhere, and de Laurentiis is weakening their negotiating position by saying that he's not going anywhere, making it a rather moot point.
That's a perfectly reasonable approach. Teams that have players under contract don't have to just give up that player when someone with more money comes calling (and yes, that sentiment does apply to the Luka Modric saga from last year). With Cavani himself giving the impression that he doesn't particularly want to leave Napoli and having four more seasons left on his current deal, I'd put money on a new long-term contract being announced at some point in the next few transfer windows.