Chelsea are weighing up a move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, sources have told ESPN FC.
A long-term link to Stamford Bridge, the 27-year-old Uruguay international joining Jose Mourinho's side would be dependent on a number of factors, not least Chelsea's need to comply with UEFA regulations.
Apart from already having exceeded the quota for foreign players over the age of 21 by one -- with Didier Drogba taking them to 18 -- the London club are also increasingly conscious of financial fair play.
It is expected that Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech could move on, however, and that any purchase of Cavani would finally see the long-mooted sale of Fernando Torres. Furthermore, the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Everton brought in 28 million pounds, freeing up more funds.
ALL-TIME HIGHEST TRANSFER FEES
1) £85m Gareth Bale -- Tottenham to Real Madrid, Sept. 2013
2) £80m Cristiano Ronaldo -- Man Utd to R. Madrid, June 2009
3) £75m Luis Suarez -- Liverpool to Barcelona, July 2014
4) £71m James Rodriguez -- Monaco to Real Madrid, July 2014
5) £59.7m Angel Di Maria -- Real Madrid to Man Utd, Aug. 2014
6) £56m Kaka -- AC Milan to Real Madrid, June 2009
Sources told ESPN FC that Chelsea have been quoted a price of 40 million pounds by PSG for Cavani, and that the player is eager to move to Stamford Bridge -- despite a public declaration that he would prefer to stay in France. There has already been preliminary contact between the London club and the player's camp, although Chelsea are still assessing the best course of action.
With Mourinho having regularly complained about his forward line's lack of goals last season, signing Cavani and selling Torres would mean his attack has been completely overhauled, after the purchases of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba as well as the departures of Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o.
From a tactical point of view, Cavani would also provide the type of pace on the break that Mourinho favours in his teams, and that was sorely missing over the 2013-14 campaign.
The Uruguayan has endured a largely disappointing time in Ligue 1, with that reflected in the apparent drop in price. The 40 million pound fee believed to have been quoted to Chelsea would be 15 million pounds lower than the 55 million pounds he went to the French champions for last summer. Ironically, one of Cavani's worst performances came in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg away to Chelsea, but that has not deterred either club or player -- particularly since he has often been played away from his best role.
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- Smith: Transfers more important than the game?
- Macintosh: We worship goals, not balance sheets
Sources close to Cavani say that, in private, he is very eager for the move. Although he seemed to publicly play down any departure on Thursday, the very same comments also left the possibility of a move open.
"I am certain to stay, why wouldn't I be? I feel great in Paris," Cavani said. "I have a contract to respect with PSG. I'm calm. I prefer to be here. I feel good here. But as I have said before, it doesn't only depend on the player, but also on certain things that can happen at the club."
In that regard, the player's sale would also allow Paris Saint-Germain to conform to FFP themselves, while still signing transfer target Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid. The French club effectively have to sell big before they can buy again, so Cavani's transfer may actually set a number of moves in motion.
Manchester United have also been mooted as a possible destination but sources told ESPN FC that, so far, that is no more than the player's camp floating possible destinations.