Napoli president: No Spurs bid for Lavezzi

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has quashed reports that Tottenham Hotspur have made a bid for striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, and insists the club will not be pressured into selling its star players.

Argentine Lavezzi has caught the eye last season after forming one half of a lethal strike partnership with Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, which fired Napoli to a sensational third place finish in Serie A and Champions League qualification.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is thought to be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements after current strikers Jermaine Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch all endured underwhelming campaigns, but De Laurentiis denied the North Londoners had contacted him about Lavezzi.

"Lavezzi? I have never spoken to Tottenham," the Napoli president told Italian radio station Radio Marte.

The Neapolitans may face a battle to keep hold of their star players this summer, with Lavezzi’s strike partner Edinson Cavani and Slovakian midfield playmaker Marek Hamsik also reportedly being tracked by a host of top European clubs, but De Laurentiis is adamant the club will not part with its prized assets cheaply.

"I ask the fans to be calm," he added. "When the transfer market opens everyone wants to buy but 95 percent of the time, it's just gossip.

"Napoli supporters are intelligent and they cannot be taken for a ride by the press. We are growing as a club and we will continue to do so.

"If someone arrives and wants to buy a player that doesn't want to wear the Azzurri colours, then they will have to bring out their wallet.

"But I, in seven years, have not received any offers and I am the one that decides.

"We are not a supermarket, perhaps we are an expensive jewellery shop and as soon as people see the prices, they are scared away."

By Liam Twomey