Edinson Cavani is being linked with a trio of Premier League club’s following the forward’s decision to hand in a transfer request at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Uruguay international is keen to leave the Ligue 1 champions after six-and-a-half years in the French capital, the club’s all-time record goalscorer having informed the club of his desire for a new challenge.
Cavani’s availability has alerted several of the continent’s leading clubs, Atletico Madrid having seen an initial offer for the 32-year-old rejected, though the Spanish side are now set to face serious competition from several of England’s elite.
According to the Telegraph, Chelsea have emerged as one of the frontrunners to rival Atletico, Frank Lampard keen to add to his attacking options this month and ease the goalscoring burden on top scorer Tammy Abraham.
Lampard refused to rule out a move for Cavani earlier this week and admitted that he is keen to add experience to his developing side, and a cut-price move for Cavani could prove to be a shrewd acquisition.
Cavani’s current deal expires at the end of the season and PSG had hoped to keep the forward until the summer, though his transfer request this month means a move could be likely in the coming weeks.
However, Chelsea could face competition from London rivals Tottenham, Jose Mourinho desperate to add a forward to his squad having seen Harry Kane ruled out for several months with a torn hamstring.
248 – Since Edinson Cavani made his Palermo debut in March 2007, only Lionel Messi (420) and Cristiano Ronaldo (398) have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues than the Uruguayan (248). Matador. pic.twitter.com/EJjH2eVKjM
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 21, 2020
Kane’s absence, which could see him miss the remainder of the season, has left Spurs without a recognised senior forward, with Lucas Moura and Son-Heung Min having been utilised in unfamiliar central roles in recent fixtures.
The north London side have been linked with moves for the likes of AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek and Leicester flop Islam Slimani, though the opportunity to sign a player of Cavani’s calibre would be of greater appeal to Mourinho as he bids to bolster his depleted options.
Cavani’s wages – £8.5m-per-year after tax – are likely to prove a stumbling block, however, and could see the club struggle to match the financial power of their competitors.
Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News are reporting that Manchester United are also considering an approach, the club having ‘intensified’ their striker search following the news Marcus Rashford will miss around two months with a back injury.
A loan deal looks unlikely due to the forward’s contract situation, with ESPN claiming PSG are demanding a fee in excess of €20 million (£17m) to part with the player this month.
Cavani has scored a club record 198 goals in just 292 appearances since joining the club from Napoli in 2013, winning five league titles and twice finishing as Ligue 1’s top-scoring player.