Cavani to Chelsea rumours raise suspicions

Posted by Phil Lythell

Roberto Salomone/AFP/Getty ImagesReports suggest Chelsea have agreed to pay close to €58 million to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani.

The latest shots have been fired in the battle for the signature of Edinson Cavani, with SSC Napoli's official radio station announcing that a fee has been agreed with Chelsea over a move to Stamford Bridge and that personal terms have also been settled.

The curious element of this salvo is that Radio Marte has cited a "very reliable source" for their information, which automatically casts a pall of doubt over the veracity of the story. Either the story is true or it is not, which therefore begs a number of questions.

- Chelsea agree Cavani deal - report

If Radio Marte is indeed the Serie A club's official radio station, why are they not using a direct quote from, say, president Aurelio De Laurentiis? If an official quote from a named representative from Napoli is not available, why are Radio Marte dealing with what at best appears to be conjecture? And if the story is true despite the shadowy nature of the source, why has no other media outlet independently confirmed it to be the case?

Most major football clubs these days have a media mouthpiece. It can come in the shape of an in-house television station such as Chelsea TV or a newspaper that is directly influenced by the higher echelons of the club's executive, such as Real Madrid's hold over Marca in Spain. What they all have in common is that they are always decidedly "on-message" and can act as either a source of official information or as means of communicating a form of corporate propaganda into the wider world.

With Manchester City having formally pulled out of the race to sign the Uruguay international and Real Madrid having yet to make a bid for the player, a cynic might suggest that this latest "development" is merely a way of prompting other interested parties into action in an attempt to maximise the revenue they hope to receive from selling the player.

For their part, Chelsea generally refuse to comment on transfer speculation until it is made official, hence their silence on this matter speaks volumes.

Of course, that is not to say that Cavani will not end up in West London. But before anyone gets too excited, it is worth remembering all the unnamed sources that stated a few months ago that a deal to bring Radamel Falcao to Stamford Bridge was done and dusted.

Attributable quotes are the first step towards confirming the authenticity of a potential transfer deal, and there has yet to be one. If Cavani does join Chelsea there will be genuine cause for celebration, but until then the champagne should be kept on ice.

Follow Phil Lythell on Twitter @PhilLythell

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