Why Arsenal shouldn't fear competition for Cavani from Atlético Madrid

Cavani 2

Atlético Madrid are rumoured to have PSG striker Edinson Cavani at the top of their summer shopping list, leading to suggestions Arsenal could miss out on one of their primary targets.

Stories of Edinson Cavani being unsettled at Paris Saint Germain, or his chalk and cheese relationship with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, have inevitably lead to much speculation that the Uruguayan striker is keen to leave the French club, who originally splashed out a reported fee of €64.5 million to land him from Napoli in July 2013.

Whilst Arsenal have been widely tipped to lead the chase for Cavani, over the last few days reports in Spain and England have suggested that they could be pipped to a deal by Atlético Madrid this summer, who according to outlets such as the Mirror, are prepared to sell several of their stars to fund a blockbuster move.

Much of the speculation is based on suggestions that Atlético Madrid have been testing the water with Cavani, via fellow Uruguay international Diego Godín, with the pair known to communicate regularly.

UEFA Financial Fair Play restrictions have meant that in order to bring in further big money signings, PSG would also have to sell, which means they could well be willing to consider offers for Cavani. When it comes to Atlético Madrid however, although a level of interest might be genuine, the realities of such a move are somewhat different.

If Simeone's side are to make a bid for Cavani in the summer, given their own acknowledged financial limitations, they would need to raise sufficient funds from sales to complete such a huge investment.

Those reporting that a bid from Atlético Madrid is a foregone conclusion have even suggested they would be prepared to sell Mario Mandzukic, Arda Turan and Koke, to raise the money needed. Just to inflate the story of a move for the Uruguayan, there's even been speculation in sections of the Spanish media that Simeone has demanded the signing of Cavani, as part of his negotiations to sign a new managerial contract at the Vicente Calderón.

Trying to put this as frankly as possible, it's hard to imagine Atlético Madrid putting all their eggs in one basket for one player, no matter how talented or coveted he may be. It's even harder to imagine Simeone making such demands as part of his contract talks, because he's conscious of how the club is run financially and entirely happy in that regard. On top of that, it's more likely he'd be annoyed at the sales of Mandzukic, Koke and Arda Turan, than not being afforded the funds to sign Cavani.

"If Arda plays, everything changes. With him we have one idea, without him we have another." Said El Cholo ahead of the recent Champions League encounter with Bayer Leverkusen (Translation via Inside Spanish Football), underlining how influential and important a player the Turkish international is for his planning.

Talented Spanish midfielder Koke is a player frequently tipped for a departure and with many admirers, however, despite a plethora of interest from leading clubs around Europe last summer, he remained at the Vicente Calderón. As a product of the Atlético Madrid youth system, he's a club man through and through, and whilst they're realistic contenders for silverware each season, he has no desire to move elsewhere. Even the mighty Barcelona couldn't lure him away.

Mandzukic could be the only one of the trio it's possible to consider a realistic saleable option, if his club are looking to raise funds for new signings, but his form keeps improving and Simeone is a growing admirer of what the powerful Croatian striker offers his team. Along with these key components of the team, plus the additions of Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres this season, do Atlético Madrid really need Cavani?

Taking all these factors into account and if indeed, Cavani is the number one summer target for Arsenal, then it's very unlikely the Gunners will face either genuine or serious competition from Atlético Madrid, who are conscious it's a move that would cost them too much, and when you read between the lines of the gossip and look at the stark realities.

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