By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Manchester City's bid to sign Edinson Cavani from Napoli has stalled after failing to agree a €59 million-player-plus-cash deal involving Edin Dzeko, Goal understands.
City, who are understood to have agreed a €180,000-a-week deal in principle with the Uruguayan, are willing to pay €30m cash plus offer €29m-rated striker Dzeko in part-exchange for the prolific 26-year-old.
However, while new Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is believed to have given his blessing to the pursuit of Dzeko, the Partenopei are keen to hold out for a fee close to Cavani’s €63m release clause.
And in an increasingly complicated deal, the Italian outfit - who have already committed considerable finances to hiring former Chelsea manager Benitez and his vast backroom team - are also reluctant to match Dzeko's €129,000-a-week City wages.
The Bosnian striker, meanwhile, wants to leave City after falling behind Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez in the club’s pecking order, with Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Chelsea leading the chase for his signature.
City want to use the 27-year-old to help fund the purchase of long-term target Cavani, who is one of the most highly sought-after centre-forwards in the world following three prolific seasons at Napoli, which have yielded an astonishing 102 goals in 124 matches for the club in all competitions.
The Uruguayan has made little secret of his desire to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, prompting fears among the City hierarchy that he could be using their interest to force the hands of the two Spanish big-hitters.
Cavani has been coy about whether he will be at Napoli next season. Speaking to Corriere del Mezzogiorno last weekend, he said: "Is Napoli my future? Napoli is my today. No one can predict the future. I can only say that today I am happy.
"As for Real Madrid... kids dream, it is normal. Everyone does it. I found Napoli and I am proud. Then again it's nice to dream, even when you are grown up."
Napoli want a bidding war for their prize asset as they hold out for a fee close to Cavani’s €63m release clause.
"Cavani has a contract for another four years and a buy-out clause worth €63m," De Laurentiis wrote on Twitter in a question and answer session earlier this week.
"We have received many offers for Cavani, but all of them were much lower than the buy-out clause."