Chelsea's Edinson Cavani pursuit reaches stand-off with Paris Saint-Germain over £12.6 million valuation

Matt Law
Edinson Cavani has emerged as a January transfer target for Chelsea - AFP

Chelsea are involved in a stand-off with Paris Saint-Germain over the French club’s £12.6million valuation of Edinson Cavani with the striker’s parents claiming he wants to join Atletico Madrid.

The views of Cavani’s parents have not yet put off Chelsea, who are sweating on Tammy Abraham’s fitness, but the Blues face a difficult task to land the 32-year-old.

Cavani, who has asked to leave PSG, has emerged as Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard’s top January target and he is prepared to shelve his desire to sign a left back and a winger until the summer in order to focus on signing a top striker this month.

Atletico have already had an offer for Cavani turned down, while Chelsea have enquired about taking the Uruguayan on loan for the remainder of his contract.

With the Uruguayan’s contract due to expire at the end of the season, PSG would rather agree a permanent deal to allow him to leave in this window and value Cavani at 15m euros, £12.6m.

Tammy Abraham injured his ankle in the latter stages of the draw against Arsenal Credit: Rex

Cavani currently earns around £360,000-a-week after tax and without bonuses, and Chelsea believe a £12.6m fee on top of his salary and age is too much.

The Blues would rather pay a £5m loan fee and take on his wages, but PSG are prepared to wait to see if Atletico return with a better offer or Chelsea change their stance.

Head coach Frank Lampard’s need for a new striker could be hastened if Abraham, who injured his ankle in the draw with Arsenal, is ruled out for any length of time.

Chelsea were on Wednesday waiting for the bruising and swelling on Abraham’s ankle to go down before making an assessment. The 22-year-old would not have started Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Hull City in any case.

With the January transfer window closing at 11pm on the night before their next Premier League game away at Leicester City, Chelsea can afford to sit tight and see if the Cavani situation changes.

But they are aware that if it comes down to a straight fight between them and Atletico, then the Spanish club may currently hold the advantage.

Cavani’s father Luis said: ““He wants to join another club in Europe. It would please me that he plays here [at Atlético]. Simeone wants him now [in January but] the head coach of Paris Saint-Germain [Thomas Tuchel] has also said he needs him to help compete in the Champions League.

“I think there is a strong chance he will go to Atlético. The option to join the club always remains in June. There are lots of other clubs but when you give your word to a team, you respect it. If tomorrow, if he is available and Atlético still want him, I think he will sign. He is a player who needs time to play and today, he only plays four or six minutes per game. PSG are treating him unfairly.”

Berta Gomez, Cavani’s mother, also gave her opinion on her son’s future by adding: “It’s complicated but he wants to play at Atlético and if it’s not now, in the summer.

“We have been eager for some time but it doesn’t depend on my son but on PSG and Atlético Madrid. We understand their position but what we don’t understand is that they want him to stay and then they only bring him out for six minutes. They are not treating him well considering what he has given to PSG in the almost seven years he has been there.”