That’s according to journalist Rob Beasley, who made the revelations in his book Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal.
Beasley says the Special One was desperate to bring Cavani to Stamford Bridge to transform his strike-force.
He also had an interest in Robert Lewandowski and Radamel Falcao but knew they were going elsewhere.
Chelsea made serious moves to snap Cavani up but in the end they had no desire to match Paris St-Germain in a bidding war.
It meant the Uruguayan joined PSG while Chelsea had to settle for Samuel Eto’o on a free.
Beasley wrote: “In the summer of 2013, three of the biggest and best had revealed they had itchy feet.
“They were Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski, Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao and Napoli’s Edinson Cavani.
“Mourinho was a fan of all three but the future of two were as good as sealed.
“In any event, the early discussions made it clear very quickly that even Chelsea, and the riches of Roman Abramovich, would not be enough”
Chelsea held talks over the signing of Edinson Cavani
“Which all meant that the man at the head of Jose’s shopping list was Edinson Cavani. Why not?
“All the big European clubs were on alert but Jose acted quickly, Chelsea making contact in mid-May in an effort to try to steal a march on rival clubs.
“The problem was Cavani was in no rush. He knew he was a man in demand, with Mourinho’s current club Real Madrid also in the hunt along with mega-money Manchester City and Paris St-Germain, who are bank-rolled by the oil-rich Qataris.
“In any event, the early discussions made it clear very quickly that even Chelsea, and the riches of Roman Abramovich, would not be enough.”