Wenger keen on £50m Cavani

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has admitted his interest in signing Napoli and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani and insists he is ready to raid the club’s swelling coffers this month for the right player.

Cavani, who has been linked with the Gunners, caught the eye against Chelsea and Manchester City in last year’s Champions League and has scored 16 goals in 17 league games for the Italian club this season.

The 25-year-old has a £50m release clause in his contract and Napoli would be reluctant to sell for much less, but that is still within cash-rich Arsenal’s scope and Wenger has hinted at a club record swoop.

“I like him as a player,” he said. “Will he cost a lot of money? That’s for sure. Nobody would deny that. Our banker lives just next to me at the moment and he is ready if we find the right player.”

Wenger has shelved any bids until forward Theo Walcott’s future is resolved, and the Frenchman is content to wait until nearer the end of the January transfer window in the hope of securing a bargain.

“The prices go always up at the start of the transfer market and go down in the last week,” he added. “You know as well that 90 per cent of transfer activity happens in the last week, if not in the last 48 hours.”

Negotiations with Walcott over a new contract until 2016 that, at around £100,000 per week, would make him the club’s best paid player are finally close to resolution and could be confirmed before Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.

“It took us some time to get where we want to get,” Wenger said. “It is still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend. There is a possibility. My optimism is at 99 per cent now.”