Chelsea set to bid for Edinson Cavani

Chelsea steal march on rivals in race for 30m Napoli striker Cavani

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UPDATED:

10:26 GMT, 25 March 2012

Chelsea have jumped to the front of the queue to sign 30million-rated Napoli striker Edinson Cavani.

The Uruguayan has been in impressive form this season and took his goal tally to 26 in midweek.

He also helped the Italian club knock Manchester City out of the Champions League but could not inspire Napoli to complete an English double against Chelsea.

Wanted man: Edinson Cavani is a target for Chelsea and Manchester City

Wanted man: Edinson Cavani is a target for Chelsea and Manchester City

The highly-coveted 25-year-old is also high on City's wishlist but Roberto Mancini could lose out after Chelsea reportedly opened talks with Cavani's representatives.

According to The Sun, discussions took place in London on Friday with a view to a transfer in the summer.

Napoli have continually stressed that it would require a king's ransom to convince them to part with their star man who is under contract until 2015.

So close: Cavani (right) was unable to help Napoli beat Chelsea in Europe

So close: Cavani (right) was unable to help Napoli beat Chelsea in Europe

In November, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis said: 'If (Manchester City owner) Sheikh
Mansour wants to buy one of our jewels, he should pay much more than he
has already spent at City.'

Liverpool are also keen to partner Cavani with international team-mate Luis Suarez but would need to finance the move by selling flop Andy Caroll.

Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich are also interested.