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Napoli slap £60m tag on Cavani; Koscielny, Mertesacker staying put

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has put a £60 million price-tag on Uruguay international striker Edinson Cavani.

Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has put a £60 million price-tag on Uruguay international striker Edinson Cavani, Sky Sports understands.

Cavani, 26, has been on scintillating form this season, having scored 29 goals in all competitions for the Partenopei.

The 26-year-old’s cracking form has fueled speculation linking him with a summer exit from the Stadio San Paolo, with Manchester City among the many big clubs interested in the star striker.

The Premier League moneybags have scouted Cavani on several occasions in recent months, but Arsenal and Real Madrid are also understood to have an interest in the Uruguayan.

According to De Laurentiis, if a club were willing to pay £60 million for Cavani, the Serie A side are ready to listen to the offer.

“We included a very high buy-out clause in his contract as we want him to stay,” said De Laurentiis.

“But if some nutter is willing to pay £60m, which would mean a net fee of £54m for Napoli, we are ready to listen to the offer.

“Let it be clear that the final decision lies with Edinson. He knows he’s respected here and that the people love him.”

Of the clubs interested in Cavani, Manchester City and Real Madrid are the overwhelming favourites to land the Uruguay international.

Koscielny, Mertesacker staying put

Arsenal centre-back pair Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are happy at the club despite ongoing speculation linking them with an exit from the Emirates Stadium, according to Sky Sports.

Koscielny, 27, has four years remaining on his current contract at Arsenal, and does not wish to leave the club in the summer.

“My contract lasts for another four years,” Koscielny is quoted as saying in The Sun. “I have no wish to be elsewhere.”

The France international was out-of-favour with manager Arsene Wenger earlier this season, but has surprisingly started the Gunners’ last two fixtures over club captain Thomas Vermaelen.

Koscielny, who scored his third goal of the season in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich last week, has insisted the Gunners will fight to the end in order to secure a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

“Arsenal will fight until the end to be in the Champions League,” added Koscielny. “It will be difficult, but we will give everything.”

Arsenal are currently four points adrift of bitter North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for fourth-place, but Wenger’s side do have a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker has rubbished reports suggesting he could return to Germany in the summer.

“No, I don’t consider a return to Germany. I am under contract with Arsenal and I am planning to stay on at Arsenal for more years from now,” Mertesacker told Sport-BILD.

Wolfsburg are rumoured to be lining up a summer move for the 28-year-old centre-back.

Tue 19 March, 2013
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