Edinson Cavani has been urged to leave Paris Saint-Germain and join Atletico Madrid by his father.
The Uruguay international has scored almost 200 goals for the French giants since joining the club from Napoli in 2013, helping them to five Ligue 1 titles.
Could Cavani snub Chelsea for Atletico? Five things to know…
- Cavani, PSG’s all-time top goalscorer, has started him in just four Ligue 1 games this season.
- Cavani’s current contract expires this summer but reports claim he has asked to leave six months early.
- Lampard recently suggested Chelsea would like to sign the 32-year-old.
- But the player’s father has urged him to join Atletico Madrid instead.
- Chelsea are 4/7 to finish in the top four this season with William Hill*, followed by Manchester United (12/5) and Spurs (5/1).
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This season, however, Cavani has been restricted to just over 330 minutes in Ligue 1 – roughly equivalent to three-and-a-half full games – while he has managed only 40 minutes of Champions League football.
As such, there are reports claiming Cavani has submitted a transfer request that would allow him to leave PSG six months before his contract is up. The likes of Chelsea and Manchester United are among those strongly linked with a January transfer.
But Cavani’s father, Luis, has identified Atleti as the preferred destination for his son, telling El Chiringuito TV: “He wants to leave PSG. I would like him to sign for Atletico Madrid.”
There remains the issue of convincing PSG to let their striker go early, despite his reduced role.
Luis Cavani added: “[Diego] Simeone wants him now. The head coach of Paris Saint-Germain [Thomas Tuchel] has also said he needs him to help compete in the Champions League. So PSG do not want him to go to Atletico Madrid, even if he finds an agreement.
“I think there is a strong chance he will go to Atletico, the option to join the [Atletico Madrid] always remains in June.
“There are lots of other clubs but when you give your word to a team, you respect it. If tomorrow, if he is available and Atletico still want him, I think he will sign.
“He is a player who needs time to play and today, he only plays four or six minutes per game. PSG are treating him unfairly.”
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Despite sitting third in La Liga, Diego Simeone’s men have scored just 22 goals so far this season, the fifth-lowest amount in the Spanish top-flight, once again relying upon their defensive solidity for results.
However, if they’re to lure Cavani to the Wanda Metropolitano, they might well face late competition from Chelsea.
Chelsea “looking” for a new striker after Abraham injury
The Blues have seen England international Tammy Abraham enjoy a breakthrough campaign, scoring 13 Premier League goals so far. However, beyond him, Chelsea’s next-highest goalscorers are Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount with just five.
Lampard’s goalscoring worries will be further heightened by the fact that Abraham picked up a knock during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday, with the Blues’ boss unsure just how long his star striker will remain sidelined.
After the game, he told reporters that a striker is on his list of January considerations.
“You can’t say we will definitely sign a striker but we are looking,” he said. “If you don’t score enough goals then you won’t win enough games.”
Furthermore, Lampard had expressed his admiration for Cavani earlier in the week, admitting someone of his “experience” could be helpful to this young Chelsea squad.
“He’s a great player; I played against him and always loved his mentality and attitude, and his scoring record speaks for itself,” said the former England international.
“I’m not absolutely aware of what the situation is, so we’ll see.
“The idea of bringing in experience is something I’m certainly not absolutely looking away from, because sometimes the young players need a little bit of help, and if that’s the case then that may help us.”