Premier League

City backs away from Cavani transfer

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Napoli say Manchester City have told them they will not meet their £54million buy-out clause for striker Edinson Cavani.

President Aurelio de Laurentiis, speaking at a news conference to officially unveil Rafael Benitez as the Serie A club's new manager, told reporters City were not prepared to meet a £54m buy-out clause for the striker.

"Manchester City do not have money to pay for Cavani becasue they say we won't pay that," De Laurentiis said on Friday. Abu Dhabi (City's owners) say they would never pay €63 euros for Cavani."

Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are all in the hunt for the 26-year-old Uruguay international but De Laurentiis believes his departure is far from inevitable.

"With Edinson nothing has changed," he added. "Headlines I've read in the papers did not represent his words exactly. He could never deny the importance of a club like Real Madrid's, but don't forget that he made his name at Napoli.

"If a club like Anzhi (Makhachkala) enquire about him, maybe he says no, but other clubs like Bayern (Munich), Barcelona or Real Madrid could persuade him to leave. He knows that he has a contract and an obligation to us, and there is a buy-out clause.

"Cavani knows that at Napoli he is the most important player. I do not know whether, at Real Madrid or in other teams, he will be as important."

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