Atletico Madrid will likely have to wait until summer to land Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, according to reports.
Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio claims that is the most likely outcome, having also stated reported in December that a personal agreement has already been reached between Atleti and the striker.
Last week, Marca claimed that Cavani was ‘crazy’ about joining Atleti and that the Parisian club will not stand in the way of his departure should they receive an acceptable fee for the striker, who is out of contract in June.
It appears certain that Cavani will join Atleti but the question is whether or not they can clear their wage bill in time to facilitate the move this month, rather than in summer – when the player becomes a free agent.
A recent report in El Mundo Deportivo cited French claims that the player would command a €14m transfer fee and is currently on €18m in wages, making a January switch to Madrid ‘almost impossible’.
Atleti are said to be operating on virtually 100% of their La Liga salary cap and would not be able to clear the funds needed for the Uruguayan in winter.
However, multiple claims now suggest Thomas Lemar is set to leave the club this summer with Arsenal, Tottenham and Lyon all interested in a deal.
Back in May, El Mundo Deportivo cited a report on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that the Uruguayan will arrive at Los Rojiblancos, but only in the event of Diego Costa leaving the club over the summer – a move which never happened.
However, Costa has been sidelined with an injury until February, leaving Atleti short up front and also short on goals this season.
Cavani's agent and half-brother Walter Guglielmone is said to have already held talks with the Spanish club although a move in January may prove tricky.
The club are at their salary cap and would need to offload players in order to sign anyone, with Santiago Arias and Sime Vrsaljko two players who may be let go.
Cavani’s contract in the French capital expires next summer and he has scored 195 goals across his spell in the capital of France, where he is now in his seventh season.
The marksman has been with the Paris-based club since 2013 when he joined them from Napoli for a reported fee of €64m.
It has been claimed that he has rejected a move to MLS club Inter Miami in favour of remaining in European football.
Atleti have also been linked to other strikers including Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig.