Man Utd: Solskjaer admits he's asked Cavani to 'run less'
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Manchester United have seen Edinson Cavani shine ever since his arrival back in the summer transfer window. However, while he’s been in fine form this term by scoring seven goals across all competitions, the Red Devils are yet to extend his contract. And long-term targets Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland could be behind that stance.
United were mocked when they signed Cavani on transfer deadline day.
It was an open secret the Red Devils craved the arrival of Sancho instead, with the Borussia Dortmund star their dream target.
United huffed and puffed all summer but, in the end, fell short.
Ed Woodward, after talking with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was happy to sanction a move. But owner Joel Glazer, mindful of how shattering transfer records would look during the coronavirus crisis, then intervened.
Since then, Sancho has struggled.
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But he still remains of interest to the Red Devils and could be just the reason why they’re stalling on extending Cavani’s contract.
Upon moving to Old Trafford, the 33-year-old signed a one-year deal with an option for a second. This means that, given they’re yet to take action, he may leave for free at the end of the season.
It’s likely they will act on it before the end of the campaign. We’re still in February, after all, meaning time is very much on their side.
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But United only signed Cavani as a stop-gap after missing out on Sancho.
And with Borussia Dortmund needing to balance their books in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the 20-year-old might be sold on the cheap.
Reports have suggested some inside United believe a deal could be struck for as low as £50million this summer – far cheaper than the £108m Dortmund were asking for in the summer.
So the Red Devils could be about to sign a younger upgrade on Cavani instead. Furthermore, what about two?
It’s common knowledge that Solskjaer is still keen to sign Haaland, especially with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood struggling in front of goal this season.
The Norway international broke Red Devils hearts when, in January 2020, he opted to leave Red Bull Salzburg for Dortmund instead.
United had been keen – but not enough to agree to insert a buyout clause into the player’s contract. Dortmund obliged, caving in to Mino Raiola in the process.
Now, because of the pandemic, Haaland is supposedly one of eight names who will be allowed to leave in order to free up funds.
So United could be, and we stress the word could, be readying a sensational double swoop behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
Cavani, for his part, is happy at how his time in England has gone so far.
Speaking recently to the club’s official website, the former PSG and Napoli star said: “I always think that settling in and adapting to a different place, a new culture, different customs, is always difficult.
“Change is always difficult, as is settling in somewhere new.
“Even though you try to throw yourself totally into it and to settle in quickly, right now there’s a lot of stuff going on around us that is making that process a little bit tougher than usual.
“But of course, you have your family life at home away from the game, it’s never just football alone.
“Whatever free moments that you might get, you try and enjoy them with your family and keep yourself amused by trying to get out in the open spaces and get a bit closer to nature, which is something we really love to do.
“We go for a few little walks, where we are allowed, and we always do that as a family.”
Cavani also called on United to keep winning, adding: “I can easily imagine just how important a trophy it is.
“But over and above any of that, as I told you before, for me, football is all about competition, pure and simple, and you always have that desire to win, whatever cup you’re playing for, it’s always important.
“And as I always say, winning isn’t easy, and so when you win, you have to enjoy it, and you also have to try to get into the habit of winning.”
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