Chelsea have reportedly taken their pursuit of Manchester United striker target Edinson Cavani to the next level.

Italian publication Tuttosport is claiming the Blues have made contact with the 24-year-old's agent, with a view to securing a possible mega-deal for the player in the January transfer window.

Reports go on to suggest that Napoli would only be considering offers in the region of £50 million, a figure Chelsea paid last winter to bring Fernando Torres to the club.

Andre Villas-Boas insists that Stamford Bridge outfit will not be looking to cut their losses with the Spaniard as he struggles for form in west London, and could instead add further to their attacking ranks at the next available opportunity.

The price-tag is certain to be a stumbling block, although Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has bankrolled big money moves in the past and has deep enough pockets to do so again if he so wished.

The Uruguayan hitman also fits in with the philosophy brought in by AVB, with the relative youngster still having plenty of professional years ahead of him as Nicolas Anelka prepares to leave for China in January.

As for Manchester United, they have regularly been linked with the player since reports surfaced in the English national press that Sir Alex Ferguson was an admirer of the player.

It was speculation that agent Claudio Anelucci was quick to play down in June though, rejecting any possibility of a move to Old Trafford.

"This is the time of year when it is normal to hear talk of transfers to big clubs for astronomical fees. The majority of the time there is nothing to them, as is the case with regards to a possible move to Manchester United for Edinson."

The link has refused to die though, and with uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen with the Red Devils, space could emerge in the club's attacking line.

Whether the American owners at Manchester United will be willing to meet the €50 million asking price is another matter entirely, although money is thought to be at the disposal of the manager.

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Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United