Manchester City appear to have moved ahead of Chelsea in the battle to sign Edinson Cavani after the player’s mother revealed he had already engaged in conversations with Etihad officials.
The Napoli striker has a £53million release clause in his contract and City are determined to secure his services for incoming manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Jose Mourinho is keen to bring the Uruguayan to Stamford Bridge but no one at the club has yet spoken to the player, and Real Madrid are also in pursuit of one of Europe’s hottest talents.
Here, there, everywhere: The Uruguayan is one of Europe’s hottest targets this summer
Cavani, 26, won the Serie A golden boot last season with 29 goals in 34 games, and also scored seven goals in the Europa League.
His mother Berta Gomez told Uruguayan radio: ‘Edi is talking to Madrid and City. The Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has spoken to Chelsea but there’s nothing concrete. In 15 or 20 days we’ll know his destination.’
She added: ‘In any case, I assure you Edinson loves Naples, and if he goes he will never forget the love and affection of the people.’
Chelsea target: Blues boss Jose Mourinho is interested in signing the Napoli forward
Chelsea have made two offers. The first was rejected and the latest is understood to be £40m plus goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian is regarded as one of the best young keepers in the world and has already intimated a desire to spend another season loan at Atletico Madrid, who are also keen to sign him permanently.
Bargaining: Chelsea are believed to have offered £40m plus goalkeeper Courtois (pictured) for striker Cavani
Edin Dzeko may not now be part of City’s bid.
Meanwhile, City remain relaxed about the delay in appointing Pellegrini as the club’s new manager and insist the matter is a formality.
Reports emerged last night that the hold up was due to a contract wrangle with former club Malaga over missing payments. The 59-year-old has already agreed personal terms to become Roberto Mancini’s successor.