Chelsea in talks to sign Cavani to replace flop Torres

Edinson Cavani

After failing to put a goal past Spurs, Chelsea look to Napoli for a new hitman

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 09:16 ON Mon 26 Mar 2012

CHELSEA are in talks with Napoli to sign their star striker Edinson Cavani, according to The Sun which claims representatives of the 25-year-old Uruguayan were in London last Friday to thrash out a deal that would see him join the Bridge this summer.

Having drawn 0-0 with Tottenham on Saturday, Chelsea are in desperate need of a proven goal-getter and The Sun says the club is willing to pay "a king's ransom" to secure the services of Cavani.

He’s already scored 26 times this season, a strike rate that’s attracted the interest of several top European clubs, including Real Madrid and Manchester City. The Sun says £30m is what Napoli will demand from Chelsea and the Blues will cough up, in all likelihood selling Spanish flop Fernando Torres to fund the move.

The Mirror claims that Luka Modric is refusing to sign a new contract with Spurs until "he knows who will be boss next season". Harry Redknapp has been linked with the vacant England post but with the FA saying they won’t make a decision on Fabio Capello's replacement until the end of the season, Modric is keeping the Lilywhites waiting.

The 26-year-old midfield star was the subject of a £40m offer from Chelsea last summer, but Tottenham refused to play ball and since then Manchester United have been monitoring the crafty Croatian playmaker.

With Spurs currently lying fourth in the table, Modric may stay if the club qualifies for the Champions League. But should they fail to do so a move away from the Lane is expected, particularly if Redknapp joins England.

According to Goal.com, the Premier League title isn’t the only thing being fought over in Manchester. City and United are also engaged in a tussle to secure the signature of Athletic Bilbao star Javi Martinez, with City are in pole position after offering the Spanish club £25m for the 23-year-old midfielder.

Apparently City scouts have watched Martinez in action several times this season and their reports have convinced Sky Blues boss Roberto Mancini that he would thrive at the Etihad. It’s believed that Martinez’s contract has a buy-out clause of £34m but Bilbao have intimated that they’d be prepared to sell for £25m.

The Daily Express reports that United’s redundant striker Dimitar Berbatov has told Europe’s finest to "come and get me". The 31-year-old is surplus to requirements at Old Trafford these days and apparently he’s told his agent to find him a club for next season – but only one that will be in the Champions League. That rules out Sunderland and Fulham, says the Express, both clubs having allegedly made an approach for the Bulgarian.

One man who is still in demand at Old Trafford is central defender Rio Ferdinand. According to the Daily Mail, the 33-year-old will be offered a new contract by Alex Ferguson in the summer to "to ward off interest from America, Russia and China".

Ferdinand’s existing deal expires in June 2013 and United’s medical staff believe that even with his dodgy back the England defender has another two years left in him. It’s believed Ferguson will offer Ferdinand a rolling one-year contract worth slightly less than his current £115,000-a-week pay packet. · 

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