'Cavani capture would send message'
Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc has said that signing Edinson Cavani would send a "big signal" to their rivals, while also insisting that the Napoli striker can play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
A €63 million deal for Cavani is thought to be imminent after PSG sporting director Leonardo met Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis in Italy at the weekend.
And in a lengthy interview with L’Equipe ahead of PSG’s first pre-season friendly, Blanc said that the 26-year-old Uruguayan’s arrival would be a major boost to the defending French champions.
“It’s true that the club is following this player and if he could join PSG, I’d be happy about it,” the 47-year-old said.
“We’re not the only ones chasing him. If we could hit the jackpot it would be, number 1, a great coup in sporting terms and, number 2, a big signal sent to PSG’s potential rivals, in France and in Europe.”
Normally the signing of a player like Cavani, who was top scorer in Italy’s Serie A with 29 goals last season, would be welcomed at any club.
But there are concerns that Ibrahimovic, whose 30 goals led PSG to the French title last season, might see the Uruguayan as a threat.
However Blanc believes that Cavani and the Swedish striker can flourish in the same team.
“Yes, they are compatible,” he told L’Equipe. “Cavani is a generous player, who eats up space and has an important presence in front of goal. In terms of their profile, they are complementary.
“As they are two big players, normally, they should get on. After that, there will maybe be ego problems to sort out. The club should come before everything else."
Despite rumours that he might be interested in linking up with former PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Ibrahimovic is expected to return to training with PSG next week.
Brazil defender Thiago Silva has also been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks but Blanc is confident that last season’s captain will stay in Paris.
He said: “Having discussed it with him, having determined his programme and his return date, he seemed very interested to me. I think that Thiago will be Parisian next season and he’ll have a very good chance of being captain.”
The former France national coach says he is hoping to sign “three to five” new players, with the priority being another left-back to challenge Maxwell.
Lille’s Lucas Digne would be a “good option” in that position, according to Blanc, who could also make a move for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
“Once again, it depends on which players will be at our disposal,” he said. “Yohan is a marvellous player, we all agree on that.
“For the moment, he interests us because we’re anticipating certain things. But are those things going to happen, I don’t know.”