For the second time this summer, a top striker has spurned the Premier League for the riches of Ligue 1. First it was Falco choosing Monaco over Chelsea and now Edinson Cavani had chosen Paris Saint-Germain over Chelsea and Manchester City.
The French side paid a Ligue 1 record of €64m for the Napoli striker who was Serie A’s top scorer last season with 29 goals. Cavani is reported to have signed a five-year contract worth €10m a year after tax with the Parisian side.
“I’d like to thank everyone who made this transfer possible, it’s a great project,” a delighted Cavani told a press conference yesterday.
“I’d also like to thank the people in Napoli who went out of their way to make it possible,” the player who passed the traditional pre-signing medical on Monday, added.
“I come here with lots of joy, lots of confidence, lots of hunger and lots of motivation to win major trophies,” he said.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi paid tribute to the club’s outgoing sporting director Leonardo for his instrumental role in securing the services of the Serie A sharp shooter.
“A big thank you to ‘Leo’, he’s done a great job here for the past two years,” Al Khelaifi told the press conference to announce the headline deal.
PSG are also reportedly close to signing Roma defender Marquinhos for €35 million as neither them or Monaco seem to have any concern about Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules. When the Marquinhos deal goes through that will take PSG’s net spend this summer to €100m, while Monaco have spent close to €150m. I don’t think anyone else in Europe has had a net transfer spend of €75m.
But of more immediate concern for PSG fans is what does the Cavani signing mean for Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Can the two of them coexist together at PSG or does the arrival of Cavani mean that Ibra will now be sold?
One train of thought is that Laurent Blanc will play Cavani up-front in the No. 9 role with Ibra playing off him, more as a No. 10. This would get Ibra more involved in the play than he was last year. Whether Blanc can pull that off tactically we will have to see.