After all that, Edinson Cavani may not go anywhere.
The Uruguayan striker reportedly handed in a transfer request earlier this month and seemed destined for a switch to Atletico Madrid, but with the Spanish side reportedly unable to come up with the funds to secure a switch, Cavani will stay put in the French capital for the remainder of the season.
The report comes from French publication L’Equipe, who states that Atletico Madrid required a sale of Thomas Lemar to fund a move for Cavani, and that prerequisite move never materialized. Cavani is out of contract at the end of the season, but L’Equipe reports that a pair of bids from Atleti valued at $11 million and $16.5 million were both turned down by PSG, and the Spanish club could not afford an improved offer without incoming funds. L’Equipe is reporting that the French club was not in a negotiating mood, accepting nothing less than the initial asking price of $22 million.
Later, ESPN’s Ligue 1 reporter Jonathan Johnson verified the L’Equipe report.
This represents a blow for a number of clubs. First, PSG is set to lose Cavani for nothing after playing hardball. That’s a mistake by the French club, with Cavani riding the bench for much of the season to date. His presence would represent nothing more than injury cover for the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Mauro Icardi, while the club could have instead brought in some cash for his services.
It’s also a blow to Atletico Madrid who desperately needs attacking players. Diego Simeone’s side has been starving for goals this entire campaign, and while it’s likely that just the addition of a 32-year-old Cavani would not have been a cure-all for the Spanish side, the L’Equipe report nonetheless states that Simeone is “furious” with the outcome.
Finally, it’s also bad news for Lemar. Once one of Europe’s most coveted young stars at AS Monaco, his move to Atletico Madrid has been downright disastrous. He has not scored or assisted a goal in 21 total appearances for Atleti this season and is now sidelined with a hamstring injury that likely put a lid on any outgoing transfer this winter.
This entire process, all reports pointed towards Cavani’s intense desire to join Atletico Madrid, even apparently ready to take a salary reduction to streamline the deal. Chelsea had been rumored to be interested, but was rebuffed by the asking price as well as his determination to join Atleti. On Wednesday, there was even a report that new Major League Soccer club Inter Miami had made a late offer for Cavani, but in the end, that was likely nothing more than the player’s agent looking for one last gasp at pressuring Atletico Madrid to up its price.