Man Utd: Solskjaer's Cavani wish amid talk over future
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Manchester United star Edinson Cavani has reportedly told Ed Woodward any new contract won’t be about money. The Uruguay international only joined the club from PSG back in the summer transfer window. But an early exit could be on the cards, with Boca Juniors keen to bring the veteran back to South America.
Manchester United wanted to sign Jadon Sancho during the summer transfer window.
But, after 10 weeks of long, difficult negotiations with Borussia Dortmund, the Red Devils then signed Cavani instead.
United felt the veteran would be a perfect short-term solution, much like former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic was during his spell at Old Trafford.
And while Cavani hasn’t always started, with injury impacting his contribution, the 33-year-old has delivered by scoring eight times.
The latest came against Tottenham on Sunday, with the Uruguayan meeting Mason Greenwood’s cross to put them 2-1 up before the England international himself got in on the act.
And, now, The Athletic state it’s unlikely Cavani will be at the club next season.
The former PSG star has struggled to settle in England and is tempted by the prospect of going back to South America to play with Boca Juniors.
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Furthermore, he reportedly made it clear to Woodward that any new contract isn’t about money.
United have thrown big cash sums at players in the past, from Alexis Sanchez to Angel Di Maria.
But Cavani, as a player who has won nearly every major trophy throughout his career, won’t be influenced by that.
United, for their part, would love the ex-Napoli hitman to stay at Old Trafford – with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer impressed by his contribution so far.
They know replacing Cavani would be tricky, and expensive, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane currently under consideration behind the scenes.
And they don’t want to be scrambling around for a replacement late in the transfer window – as has been known to happen in the past.
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United recruited Radamel Falcao on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2014, agreeing to pay Monaco a fee of £6million to loan the Colombia international.
And, on the final day of the January transfer window in 2020, Odion Ighalo was drafted in from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.
Meanwhile, speaking after his side’s victory over Tottenham on Sunday, Solskjaer insisted he wanted Cavani to stay put.
“For a new lad who doesn’t speak English and not having his family over here, of course it’s in the back of his head [returning to South American],” he said.
“If he decides it’s just the season then we’d be very happy to have had him here.”
He then added: “We’ve had up front and honest meetings.
”It’s no secret we want to keep him. I don’t think it’s any secret too that this has been a difficult year for everyone.
“With the pandemic it’s not been possible to have friends over, family over without quarantine. You can’t travel.
“He’s not been able to experience the fantastic culture in Manchester and in and around in England, and he is contemplating and thinking hard and long about what he wants to do and I understand.
“He knows what we want; I want him in Old Trafford when it’s full, Stretford End scoring a diving header like today. There’s no better feeling, so let’s wait and see.”
United legend Gary Neville thinks his old side would be wise to retain Cavani’s services.
“Tottenham had a throw with two minutes to go, and Cavani was moving between the centre-backs trying to stop the ball from being thrown in, and he’s organising where [Mason] Greenwood should be. I thought: ‘Greenwood needs another year of Cavani being alongside him’” he said.
“It inspired us as young players when you saw great players like Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce and Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes.
“And you see the best players in the world, or those who have been the best in the world like Cavani, doing his work like that in the 94th minute, someone like Mason Greenwood, who needs people who are mentors, good standards above him, who can coach him on the pitch. I just thought him and Marcus Rashford need another year of Cavani.
“He’s been a really brilliant example. I was a little bit nervous of him coming in, because of Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, showcase signings. This one has been different. He’s really applied himself brilliantly and has been a big help to Manchester United.
“He does the right things. The right movements. It’s clockwork, that run across the defender, across the near post, the one you’re always trying to get young strikers to do.”
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