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Jul 16, 2013

Cavani completes move to PSG

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has signed for Paris Saint-Germain in a deal believed to be worth around €64 million.

Edinson Cavani is presented to the media by PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi
Edinson Cavani is presented to the media by PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi

Cavani, 26, joins the club in a Ligue 1 record deal, just over a week after PSG had said they were confident the switch would soon be completed.

Monaco paid a reported €60 million to sign Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid earlier this summer, having earlier established a new top-flight record fee by paying €45 million for James Rodriguez.

PSG, however, trumped their rivals with the signing of Cavani, who was presented to the media at a press conference on Tuesday.

Cavani said PSG's potential to win the Champions League helped convince him to move to the French capital where he hopes to form "a great attacking duo" with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"It's a rich, motivating, ambitious project here and I think like that too. Sincerely, I'm a player who is a competitor, I always want to win. Many players would like to play here, they're among the best teams in the world, part of that group of clubs that can fight for the Champions League. That's an objective for me too, a very strong ambition, that's why I came here," Cavani explained.

Though Cavani revealed he had been given no guarantees when signing other than of the club's lofty ambitions, he said he was looking forward to the prospect of playing with Ibrahimovic, 31, despite persistent speculation linking the Swedish international with a move away from the club.

"Ibra is a world champion, and for another striker it's a pleasure to play with him. He's used to winning titles, he's a winner, that's very positive for the team. I come into this big club hoping to form a great attacking duo with him," Cavani said, before adding that it would not stop him battling with his team-mate and Monaco's Radamel Falcao to finish the season as Ligue 1's top scorer.

"It's going to be tough, because we're goalscorers, and always try to bring to the team our goals. It's our mission and ambition to score. It's going to be a very tight competition, and hope that we can give the French league a lot of goals."

Cavani's number nine shirt, previously worn by Guillaume Hoarau, was on sale before the prolific striker had even been seen by the press with his official presentation - originally scheduled for 16:00CET - postponed two hours due to a delay in Napoli giving their final assent to the deal.

When he finally emerged alongside his new acquisition, PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi could barely conceal his delight at having beaten a number of suitors, including Chelsea, to the signature of one of Europe's most potent goalscorers.

"Everyone knows Cavani, everyone wanted him, but today he's signed for us, he's a PSG player and I'm very happy about that. He was the top scorer in Serie A, I hope he'll do better with us this season. I hope too that we'll continue our project to win Ligue 1, and do our maximum in the Champions League. It's not easy, but we'll do our best. The arrival of Cavani is the proof of the continuity of our project, to realise our objectives to make PSG the best team in Europe."

Khelaifi also announced sporting director Leonardo would leave the club with immediate effect, rather than on September 2 as had been originally announced. Cavani stated the Brazilian's departure had not made him waver in his determination to move to France. "I never hesitated. This project is rich, dense in motivation, full of elements that give you confidence and make you want to come here: the team, the players, and the club, which hopes to win important titles."

"Today was his last day," Al Khelaifi told the media sitting alongside Cavani at the Parc des Princes. "I would like to thank him for the work he's done in his last two years. We have a very good relationship. He's the sporting director, and a friend. I wish him the best for the future."

With the deal for Cavani completed, the 1994 World Cup winner, who was recently banned from carrying out official matchday duties until next June after barging into a Ligue 1 referee in May, has brought forward his departure.

"The punishment was too hard for him," Al Khelaifi stated, before confirming the club were still working on new arrivals to reinforce Laurent Blanc's squad in the hope of improving on last season's Ligue 1 title win and Champions League quarter-final appearance, and insisted the joint-departures of Leonardo and last season's coach, Carlo Ancelotti, had done nothing to alter the club's ambitions.

"I've heard people talk about the credibility of the club. We're not changing our objective, which is to win the Champions League in the next four years and why not next year? We'll do our best. We have to win the league next season. Everyone knows the club's ambitions, they don't change. All the players, all the people who are here and leave, the project does not change."

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