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By ESPN Staff

Napoli announce Cavani deal

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed his club have completed the signing of Edinson Cavani from Palermo, beating a host of big names to land the Uruguay striker.

Cavani has penned a five-year contract at the Stadio San Paolo, with Napoli paying his former club €5 million for an initial season long loan, with €12 million payable over the space of four years

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini claimed last month that Tottenham had made a bid for Cavani, something the Premier League club denied, and De Laurentiis admits he faced stiff competition for the 23-year-old's signature.

"Cavani is a Napoli player," he told Radio Marte. "Other clubs wanted him but we have got him.

"We have been after Cavani for over a month. I was always in talks with Zamparini and I can say that it wasn't an easy deal because behind Cavani there were other prestigious clubs who wanted to sign him.

"But we closed it first, having moved early. Negotiations with Zamparini started before the World Cup, I have read many incorrect things. There were never problems surrounding his wages and image rights. We have already had for a while an understanding with both Palermo and his agent.

"Me and (sporting director Riccardo) Bigon worked side by side, we were calm and we were never worried by all the talk.

"We followed our own path and today we are delighted to be able to give another important player to our fans."

Cavani was unknown when he moved to Palermo from Danubio in January 2007 but swiftly rose to prominence when Amauri left to join Juventus a year-and-a-half later.

He scored 13 goals in 34 appearances for the Sardinians last season, and had an impressive World Cup as he helped his side to a fourth-place finish.

Cavani, who will earn €1.35 million plus bonuses, is likely to link up with his new team-mates on August 2, the same day compatriot Walter Gargano is scheduled to return to training.

Meanwhile, De Laurentiis has promised there will be more big news to come. "Monday you will receive a welcome surprise," he said.


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