MANCHESTER United and Chelsea will have to cough up around £66million to prise Edinson Cavani away from Paris St-Germain.
The French champions want a £16.8m fee and he is demanding a two-and-a-half-year contract worth about £360,000 per week.
His contract comes to an end in June and he has handed in a transfer request on Sunday in a bid to move away this month.
Chelsea and Atletico lead the race for the Uruguayan, who has been left out of his team’s squad for the last three games in the light of all the transfer speculation.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has admitted he is a fan, saying: ”He is a great player, I played against him and I always loved his mentality and attitude, and obviously his goalscoring record speaks for itself’.”
The Times claim a bid has been presented to PSG with Chelsea hoping to sign the former Napoli striker on a temporary basis until the end of the season, when he will then become a free agent.
The French giants know that if they let him go on loan they would miss out on a sizeable transfer fee.
However, a move to Atletico looks more likely at this stage, and all he is waiting for is PSG to agree to his departure this month.
And with about a week to go until the winter window slams shut, the pressure is on.
Cavani’s father has spoken of his delight of the prospect of his son moving to Atletico, telling Spanish television programme El Chiringuito: ”He wants to join another club in Europe. That would please me that he plays here (at Atletico), yes.
”(Diego) Simeone wants him now. The head coach of Paris Saint-Germain has also said he needs him to help compete in the Champions League.
”But PSG do not want him to go to Atletico Madrid if he finds an agreement.
”I think there is a strong chance he will go to Atletico, the option to join the club always remains in June”.
Luis Cavani went on to say: ”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”.
Missing out on the signing will be a blow for the Red Devils, but it is something they more than anyone should be prepared for.
Despite retaining the support of fans, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows he has a lot of work to do if they are to qualify for the Champions League.
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Their 2-0 defeat to Burnley on Wednesday was yet another huge blow to the club, leaving them six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
Solskjaer has needed to re-evaluate his attacking options, with Marcus Rashford out with an injury on top of recently missing out on signing top target Norway striker Erling Haaland, who joined Borussia Dortmund instead.
Cavani has scored 351 goals in 577 club games and 50 goals in 116 appearances for his country.