Manchester City step up interest in Cavani & Falcao

The Premier League champions have made enquiries for the prolific Napoli and Atletico Madrid centre-forwards as they turn their attentions away from Robin van Persie
By Wayne Veysey

Manchester City have made enquiries for Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani as they step up their centre-forward search, has learned.

Manager Roberto Mancini has placed the South American strikers at the top of his shopping list as the Premier League club try to off-load up to four senior front men this summer and free up £600,000-a-week from the wage bill.

With Ezequiel Lavezzi widely expected to join PSG imminently for big money, Napoli's need to sell Cavani is significantly reduced. But having failed to qualify for the Champions League next season, the Serie A club will have a battle on their hands to keep the 24-year-old happy at Stadio San Paolo, especially as they are in no position to increase his current contract.
- Renato Maisani,
Italy Assistant Editor revealed on Tuesday that City’s interest in Robin van Persie has cooled after learning that Arsenal would want more than £25m for the player, who turns 29 in August. City have placed a £15m limit on the Dutch spearhead.

As it stands, the club’s top striker targets are Atletico Madrid’s Falcao and Napoli forward Cavani, with both clubs quoting prices of £40m for their prize assets.

Mancini tried and failed to land Cavani in the two previous summers but he is also being strongly pursued by Juventus.

There is believed to be doubt over whether the prolific Uruguayan, 25, is willing to remain at San Paolo after Napoli missed out on Champions League qualification.

City have received some encouraging signs from Atletico in their pursuit of Falcao, who ended his debut season in Spain with 36 goals, including the opening two in the club’s 3-0 Europa League final win over Athletic Bilbao.

Falcao has stated - publicly at least - that he wants to stay another season at Atletico, while the club has insisted that they want to keep him in their ranks for at least another year. He is deemed irreplaceable at the moment while his value won't drop by staying another year at the Manzanares because of his age. It would take a huge bid to even tempt Atletico to sell, possibly even as high as £50m, but if anyone can make such a tempting bid, it is Manchester City.
- Martin Langer,

Spain Chief Editor
Sources have told that Atletico still owe Falcao’s former club Porto around half of the initial £34.7m deal that took him to the Spanish capital last summer in a Portuguese record transfer.

Given the parlous state of Atletico’s finances and the good relationship the two clubs struck up last summer when City paid the £38m for Sergio Aguero up front, the Premier League champions are hopeful they can negotiate a deal for the 26-year-old Colombian, who has scored 108 goals in three seasons in Europe since leaving Argentine giants River Plate in 2009.

City’s plan is to break even in the transfer market this summer while, at the same time, substantially trimming the wage bill.

Some of the club’s biggest earners have been put up for sale as the club attempt to utilise their salary budget more effectively.

City will listen to offers for Carlos Tevez, who earns £198,000-a-week, Edin Dzeko, who gets £130,000-a-week. Emmanuel Adebayor (£170,000-a-week), Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz (who both earn £90,000-a-week), who all spent last season on loan, can also leave.

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