Could Manchester City use troublesome Balotelli as bait for Cavani deal?

Despite confusion over the representation of the Uruguyan Napoli forward in some media this week could this still be a viable option for both parties if Cavani decided he wants to leave and City finally cut Balotelli after a training ground bust-up?

There was palpable excitement on Wednesday as it emerged that Manchester City were highly likely to successfully pursue the signature of Napoli marksman Edinson Cavani. The renewed interest in a potential move away from the club stemmed from the remarks of agent Mino Raiola regarding the players future and the clubs capable of paying the release clause of £44 million that was installed in his new contract signed in August last year:

"For now Cavani will stay but I wouldn't be so sure about that once June arrives. I'm sure there are clubs ready to pay. But only five clubs in the world can afford to do that - Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain. You are intelligent enough on your own to understand where Cavani will play his football next season."

While it was originally misunderstood that Raiola was Cavani’s representative that has since been disputed by Claudio Anellucci - who really is the Uruguayan talisman’s agent:

"I thought Raiola was an agent. Reading what he said about Cavani, it seems he is also a wizard, I am not accustomed to predicting the future of my clients, let alone anyone else's players."

While a move in the summer still has potential the fact the words did not actually come from the agent of Cavani himself makes such an assertion little more than mere guesswork; but it did raise one very interesting possibility.

Raiola is a very well-known football agent counting the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Mark Van Bommel among his large clientele. But the tantalising thought initially was when the discovery that Raiola was also the agent of current Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

While obvious links for a swap deal appear broken after the revelation that Anellucci and not Raiola represents Cavani it still begs the question… could Balotelli be used as bargaining power in a deal for Cavani?

Swapping them should not be an issue. Cavani is the better player of the two and courts much less controversy than Balotelli; who’s petulant displays often leaves Roberto Mancini up a proverbial creek. After their apparent bust-up at training this week it seems more likely than ever that moving him on is becoming something of a necessity.

Meanwhile in Italy Balotelli’s image has improved after impressive performances playing for the Azzurri and he is still considered hot property for Serie A.

While the Milan teams are often linked with his signature Napoli rarely get a mention when it comes to bringing in big names; that is despite their recent success and current lofty position in Serie A. The swap deal would alleviate enough finances to accommodate Balotelli at the club and doing so may also help quell any Neapolitan discontent at the idea of their star player leaving.

It is certainly an avenue that Manchester City could explore.

Who would you rather have? Balotelli or Cavani?

image: © jikatu

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