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De Laurentiis hoping Cavani decides future by July 20

Jun 24, 2013, 7:58 PM EDT

FBL-ITA -SERIE A-AS ROMA-NAPOLI Getty Images

His comments were flippant, but there’s still a decent amount of information we can infer from Aurelio De Laurentiis’s quotes. Published in Marca today, the Napoli owner implied a deadline for Edinson Cavani’s potential move from Naples, though given the language of his quotes (“I’ll rip his head off,” he said laughing), it’s hard to see the film mogul’s words as actual policy.

The 26-year-old Uruguayan, who has scored 78 league goals since moving to Napoli three years ago, is currently on national team duty in Brazil, where La Celeste will face Brazil on Wednesday in the Confederations Cup semifinals. Though he’s not scheduled to rejoin his club until late next month, Cavani’s owner is hoping a there’ll be a resolution to his transfer saga before he’s due back in Italy.

De Laurentiis, as told to Radio Rai and distributed by Marca:

“I trust in Cavani, I think that he’s a good man and he has the opportunity to prove it by staying at Napoli.”

“I think that the Cavani ‘soap opera’ will come to an end on 20th July, which is when he returns from the Confederations Cup. If it doesn’t, I’ll rip his head off,” Aurelio De Laurentiis said laughing.

“Does anyone think that I’ll let Cavani leave on 10th August, with the league campaign about to kick off?”

Nice, fun banter, but between the lines, we can discern a few things. First, Cavani is not only for sale (or, buyout) but he has sufficient interest to necessitate a decision. Second, the decision is his, with De Laurentiis implying the club will have to abide by the Uruguayan’s choice. Third, with his “good man” comment, De Laurentiis isn’t above a little gamesmanship, perhaps resorting to some new tactics as he loses traction in the ‘soap opera.’

Cavani’s been linked most prominently with Real Madrid, but Chelsea and Manchester City are also in the picture. Paris Saint-Germain’s link has gotten some ink, and it’s surprising the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Monaco haven’t also commandeered a few more electrons. Cavani’s a world-class striker with a work rate that would allow him to meld into any team.

Over the next four weeks, Cavani will likely get to choose between Madrid, London, and Manchester. And if he doesn’t, an old Italian movie producer’s going to try to tear his head off.

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