Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has penned an open letter to Edinson Cavani following the striker’s move to Paris Saint-Germain, writing: “My dear friend, I hope for your sake that you have made the right choice.”
De Laurentiis had heavily criticised Cavani’s decision to leave his club this summer, saying the Uruguayan was “hooked on money”. At the weekend, he said he would never have considered selling the forward had he not had his hands tied by a €64 million release clause in his contract.
He even hoped that the 26-year-old would change his mind at the last minute and remain in Campania, but De Laurentiis accepts that the Cavani chapter in Napoli’s history is now closed.
“Dear Edy, today is the day that I would never have wanted to arrive,” De Laurentiis wrote in an open letter published on his club’s website. “From today, you are no longer our ‘Matador’, for you have become a Paris Saint Germain player.
“I had hoped until the very end that you would have reconsidered but, in my heart, I knew that you wouldn’t have done so. You know and we all know that we have really upset Napoli’s fans, who had taken great pride in watching you. Everybody makes their own choices and I don’t hold it against you.
“I hope the Napoli fans also don’t hold it against you because you gifted us 104 magnificent goals and many passion-filled days. You leave behind a shirt and people who loved you since the first day you arrived - since that evening when you presented yourself with two goals in Sweden, which captured our imagination immediately.”
Those 104 goals in 138 games earned Cavani a place in Napoli folklore, and his 29 strikes last season saw him become the first Partenopei player since Diego Maradona to be crowned Serie A’s top scorer.
“We will always be appreciative and - who knows? - maybe we will meet you as an opponent,” De Laurentiis added. “We would then be friends, but rivals nonetheless. It would be a great party and it would be fantastic to try to beat you.
“Today, you have chosen a big city and an emerging club. My dear friend, I hope for your sake that you have made the right choice.”