Edinson Cavani is no longer planning to return to South America when his Manchester United contract is up next summer with reports now claiming the Uruguayan has his heart set on a move to Barcelona. El Matador seemed set on leaving United after just one season earlier this year before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer managed to twist his arm and convince him to stay.
The player’s father Luis gave an explosive interview with Argentine outlet TyC Sports, confirming that his son was ready to make the move to Boca Juniors.
Behind the scenes, Cavani had held talks with former Barcelona and Villarreal midfielder Riquelme over the prospect of joining him at Boca, where he was now working in an upstairs role.
Cavani seemed to be sold on a move to La Bombonera before United convinced him to stay.
Now, a departure at the end of the season seems to be a formality but a new option is in play for the prolific veteran.
The 34-year-old netted a crucial second on the road at Tottenham in a 3-0 win in north London – a result that temporarily saved Solskjaer’s job.
He has not featured since then though due to tendon irritation and with Ralf Rangnick set to take over this weekend, Cavani may have to win over the interim boss.
Historically, Rangnick loves players that press and while Cavani is a workaholic, there is a chance the new United coach could favour a more youthful approach.
There has already been some suggestion in Germany that Rangnick could look to sign Timo Werner to bolster United’s frontline.
United coach Kieran McKenna is another individual who could fall foul to the new era at Old Trafford but the Northern Irishman recently made it clear that even when Cavani isn’t playing, he is showing the likes of Mason Greenwood the ropes on the training ground.
“How Edinson handles himself off the pitch is well documented but his levels of professionalism, concentration, consistency and how he prepares for every training session – before training and then his concentration during sessions – is outstanding,” McKenna told United’s website.
“So on that side of it he’s a fantastic role model but then also in the various parts of his game. The way Edinson fights for the ball with his back to goal.
“The way he challenges in the air, the way he uses his body up against defenders, is something that Mason needs to do and is working on.
“I think Mason’s eyes light up when you speak to him about Edinson or when you see the two of them working together. There’s a clear respect and admiration on Mason’s side.”