Premier League: Why Edinson Cavani Would Be a Perfect Fit at Manchester City

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

NAPLES, ITALY - JANUARY 06:  Edinson Cavani of Napoli celebrates afetr scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and AS Roma at Stadio San Paolo on January 6, 2013 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Edinson Cavani's proposed transfer to Manchester City would be a perfect fit for the Premier League champions.

As reported by ESPN, Blues assistant coach Angelo Gregucci has suggested the club are interested in landing the Uruguayan forward despite his astronomical price tag:

"If you ask the clubs who can afford Cavani, for example Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, then I think they'd want Cavani just as Manchester City want him," Gregucci stated. "However, what the player wants is the predominant factor in negotiations and it seems to me that Cavani is happy at Napoli."

Capturing Cavani at this stage of the season would be an important coup for the side that missed out on Robin van Persie in the summer. Roberto Mancini still rues the club's inability to land the Dutchman, and needs a marquee signing to amount greater pressure on the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

Speaking at the end of December 2012, a certain quote from the Italian still holds resonance (via The Guardian):

We were very close to signing [Robin van Persie], I know what the reason was but I won't say. It was not about money. We wanted Van Persie because we knew he was totally different from our other strikers.

Mancini is obviously still on the lookout for something special. His suggestion that City need someone "totally different" indicates the addition of another world class talent is a must for the squad.

What exactly would Cavani bring to the Etihad? Considering the club's current crop of strikers, his style sits somewhere between the tireless work rate of Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko's ability as a target man and Sergio Aguero's natural goalscoring prowess.

Fortunately for potential suitors, the 25-year-old bypasses any comparison with one other City striker. Mario Balotelli's petulance continues to grab headlines around the globe. His recent bust-up with Mancini is the latest incident in a string of events that could see the youngster leave England (via BBC Sport).

Rumours suggest Napoli could be the club to take a punt on Balotelli's talents. Speaking to, Azzurri president Aurelio De Laurentiis indicated the Italian badboy could be playing in an alternative sky blue soon. As reported by The Independent:

City are considering letting Balotelli go so they can move for Cavani? I would prefer to see Balotelli playing with Cavani here at Napoli.

De Laurentiis is playing tactfully. With other elite clubs likely to be circling around his prized asset, he knows Cavani's future remains away from Naples. Outlining his interest in Balotelli not only secures an instant replacement for the striker; it also coaxes City into producing a bumper package for Cavani's services.

With 24 goals in 20 starts and two substitute appearances this season, Cavani provides services City desperately need. Mancini's men trail Manchester United's Premier League goal tally by 13 on current standing.

Despite bagging five against Aston Villa and putting four past Norwich, a combination of rotation and questionable form has seen this expensive group marginally outscore Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal—clubs that have all stuttered throughout the season.

Cavani's addition to the squad could propel City to the next level. He is a proven finisher at all levels of the game and has the capability to hustle from the front. Compared to someone like Balotelli—who spends more time looking gormless than playing football—Cavani's influence has the ability to galvanise the entire group.

It could even reinstate a sense of competition amongst the forward line. Balotelli's nine starts and 10 substitute appearances since September aren't enough for a player who can change any game. Right now, three City strikers are guaranteed time on the pitch—irrespective of their form.

Such realisations will be chipping away at Roberto Mancini. If Cavani can be brought in at the expense of Balotelli, the Premier League champions must enter formal negotiations soon. Landing the striker in a player-plus-cash deal would be a shrewd business move by the Manchester City board, especially with the introduction of FIFA's Financial Fair Play initiative.

Such a transfer would be seemingly be the perfect fit for City—and indeed—everyone else involved.