Manchester City had €35m Cavani bid rejected

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Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has revealed that Manchester City had a €35 million offer for striker Edinson Cavani turned down over the summer.

City were heavily linked with a move for the Uruguayan hit man over the past two seasons as they looked to add to their forward unit. Former boss Roberto Mancini claimed after his departure that an approach was made - something De Laurentiis has now backed up.

"Cavani, Manchester City visited me in Rome," the Napoli president told Sky Sport News.

"But they just offered, I don't remember exactly but around 35 million [euros] so I didn't accept - there was a high level of interest."

Cavani, who was also said to be a target for Chelsea as well as Manchester City, eventually joined Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth around £55 million over the summer.

Napoli swooped to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid as his replacement, snatching the Argentinian from the grasp of Arsenal, their opponents in the Champions League tonight.

"It is very tough as the Gunners are very strong, we met them last August [in the Emirates Cup] but it will be a different game. We play without fear so I hope it is a good game," said the Napoli chief.

Arsenal will have a tough time against Napoli at the Emirates Stadium time, with the Serie A outfit flying high at home and abroad under new boss Rafa Benitez.

"I respect my work, until the Italian championship ended, I decided we would not be in touch with anyone else and wait for [former boss] Mazzarri to say no, the day after I flew to visit Rafa Benitez," he revealed.

"He convinced me immediately. We stayed eight hours in a London hotel and everything was defined.

"Rafa is a very nice man, he is always smiling and is relaxed and I hope it will be a very long relationship."

De Laurentiis added of the deal for Higuain: "It was very fast as we were negotiating with a Brazilian guy, now all the soccer players have to belong to me and their image rights, for me it doesn't work without it - and this Brazilian guy had a lot of trouble," he said.

"Then I said to my guy why don't we go to Real Madrid and in 10 minutes it was done. Then with Higuain his agent said fine and the day after in Venice, closed in a room for eight hours we did a deal.

"I didn't know about Arsenal were interested! Sorry Arsenal."

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