De Laurentiis admits Manchester City made an attempt.
"(Rafa) Benitez very much liked (Edin) Dzeko," De Laurentiis told Il Mattino. "Manchester City wanted to take Cavani but they never arrived at a certain fee.
"He [Cavani] had already asked to go away last summer but then we found the agreement to extend his contract until 2017.
"In these cases you put in the buy-out clause hoping that no-one will pay it.
"Real Madrid refused immediately to pay this fee, the same for City, while Chelsea never came forward."