Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has said he would not have sold star striker Edinson Cavani "even for €70 million" had there not been a release clause in his contract.
As Paris Saint-Germain prepared to announce the arrival of the Uruguay international for a Ligue 1 record fee on Tuesday, film producer De Laurentiis said the €63 million release clause meant he had had to sanction the move.
"If it wasn't for that clause, I wouldn't have sold him, not even for €70 million," he said. "It's a question of principle. You can’t just go around buying everything - it's ethically wrong. The problem is these clubs are sponsored by companies who flaunt absurd sums of money.
"As for Cavani, we've had to raise his salary each year, reaching a level higher than that which Bayern Munich’s top players earn.
"Then he starts saying he wants to leave, and I told him to insert a release clause, which happened last July. I'm sure Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea would never have spent €63 million."
De Laurentiis said his club would reinvest the money in another striker, with Internacional's Leandro Damiao currently topping the list.
"[Director of sport Riccardo] Bigon has been talking to me about him for a year,” De he added. "I met with his entourage, and our scouts speak highly of him too."
But he said the chances of Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain filling Cavani's boots were not high, adding: "It's hard to see a player coming from Madrid settling into a city like Naples - there would be too many problems.
"But the fans can rest assured that, regardless of the Cavani money, I had budgeted to spend €63 million this year."