Napoli confident of keeping £54m Manchester City target

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is optimistic about his club's chances of keeping hold of Manchester City target Edinson Cavani, according to Sky Sports.

The Uruguayan international has been linked with the defending Premier League champions for the past few weeks, and despite the presence of £54m minimum fee release clause in Cavani's contract, speculation has steadily mounted that he could leave the Serie 'A' club in the summer.

But De Laurentiis has moved to assure Napoli fans that he wants to retain the services of Cavani - although he admitted he'd be powerless if an interested party triggered the buy-out clause.

De Laurentiis told Gazzetta dello Sport: "The clause of €63m? No-one has paid it. Last summer I refused €55m and Real Madrid didn't even get to 50.

"If someone meets it then there is nothing I can do, but I would do everything to convince the player to stay because it takes an agreement with him too.

"The last thing I am thinking about is depriving myself of Cavani. I like him as a player and as a man."

Several of Europe's top clubs have been credited with an interest in the Uruguayan striker - including Real Madrid and Paris St Germain.

Cavani currently leads the Serie 'A' goalscoring charts with 18 goals from 23 games. And his importance to the southern Italian club is evident by their reliance on the forward - Cavani has bagged 40% of Napoli's league goals this season.

Manchester City sold one of their strikers back to a Serie 'A' club last month - former-Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli returning to Italy to sign for San Siro rivals AC Milan.

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