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The transfer whispers are well and truly starting to build ahead of the summer window, and a number of top European clubs will be expected to ring huge changes as new managers arrive. Premier League side Chelsea will be amongst the most active after seeing their title-defence implode spectacularly in 2015-16; if the rumour mill is to be believed, then PSG’s Edinson Cavani could be the first arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Cavani has been the subject of long-term links to an English switch with Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool all joining the Blues as suitable destinations over the past two or three seasons.The Uruguayan has enjoyed a fantastic time at the Parc des Princes, but has often played second fiddle to star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Could this finally be his time to trade the comfort of Ligue 1 for the glamour of Premier League football?
Speculation over the move has gone hot and cold for a number of weeks, but momentum has grown steadily in recent days and our transfer index now ranks the potential move with a rating of 2.8, which suggests that there is a very real possibility indeed. If the switch does materialise, it could be the start of a record-breaking summer.
Should Cavani arrive in west London this summer, it could pave the way for Eden Hazard to complete an almost inevitable exit. It’s possible that the clubs could arrange a player plus money swap, especially as Chelsea’s Belgian star is rated as a £60m+ target for the Parisians. The Stamford Bridge side are already resigned to losing their former Player of the Year; Cavani’s arrival would at least provide them with a worthy automatic replacement.
Chelsea’s new manager, whomever that will be, would also benefit from the added flexibility that Cavani brings. In addition to occupying the wide left position of a three-man attack, the 29-year-old is equally comfortable operating from a central role. The Blues have looked a little bereft of options at times, placing all of their expectations on the shoulders of Diego Costa, so this could be a hugely beneficial move. Following Alexandre Pato’s recent arrival too, the Stamford Bridge outfit may finally gain versatility in terms of formations as well as personnel.
This summer is already guaranteed to signal the start of a new era at Chelsea due to the managerial change, but the arrival of Cavani could be a key moment in ushering a new look team. The club are already planning for life without long-serving skipper John Terry in defence while question marks also remain over the futures of several experienced Blues stars. If Cavani does break down the Stamford Bridge arrivals door, we can expect a number of others to follow him. With the likes of John Stones already on the radar too, this could be the birth of an entirely different Chelsea; one that finally breaks the mould set during Jose Mourinho’s first spell at the club.
Any potential move for Cavani could bring huge implications for PSG too. The Parisians have already seen Ezequiel Lavezzi leave for China this year while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being touted with a mind-blowing move to West Ham United. If those moves are sanctioned, it would bring the curtain down on the Ligue 1 outfits most successful generation. In turn, this may lead to a huge summer of spending by the mega rich French club, with Hazard being just one of the new faces to join.
Laurent Blanc’s revolution in Paris will continue to gain momentum as they bid for European dominance, and the only way to achieve that is through replacing those big names with even bigger stars. PSG aren’t solely focused on talent, though; they crave the headline names that will provide even greater star attraction. Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba are just two names regularly linked with big money transfers to Ligue 1. If either of those stars were to depart their respective clubs, then a summer merry go round will be guaranteed.
At a reported fee of around £40m, Cavani could be a huge risk for Chelsea. However, the fallen Premier League champions are in need of a fresh spark if they are to reestablish themselves as genuine contenders both in England and on the continent. The South American star from PSG could be the perfect answer. Aside from his obvious talent, the Blues would receive a player that boasts the grit and determination that their club so desperately needs in the wake of their recent decline.
Our transfer index has correlated the data to predict that Cavani may well be the first major signing of the summer at Stamford Bridge, and he might just be the most important too; not only for Chelsea, but for European football as a whole.