Twist in Edinson Cavani's Transfer Saga as Man Utd Makes U-Turn Over Uruguayan Footballer
08:39 GMT 21.12.2021 (Updated: 14:27 GMT 25.10.2022)
Barcelona have reportedly been in hot pursuit of Uruguayan international Edinson Cavani for a couple of months now. Widely regarded as one of the finest strikers of the present generation, even the Catalans' boss, Xavi Hernandez, rates the 34-year-old footballer highly and wants to see him at Camp Nou.
Amid mounting speculation that Edinson Cavani was set to sign a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona during the January transfer window, his current employers, Manchester United, are planning to make a U-turn regarding his transfer, the British media has reported.
Cavani was handed a one-year contract extension by the iconic English club at the start of the 2021-22 season, but has only made three appearances in United's starting XI during their current campaign due to a tendon issue in one of his legs.
Moreover, with the sensational return of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford, United have got the firepower up front and that's why the former Premier League champions were thinking about offloading Cavani during the winter.
With Cavani's spot in the English side no longer secure as he's not their first-choice forward anymore, newly-appointed boss Ralf Rangnick doesn't consider him an important player in his scheme of things.
Aside from Ronaldo, who has a two-year contract with United, the Red Devils have Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho in their arsenal. Both of them are considered the future of the club, despite feeling a little uneasy in the team due to the presence of Ronaldo. This is another prospect that doesn't bode well for Cavani's future at Old Trafford.
On the other hand, Barca are desperate to sign a world class striker to overcome their mounting struggles up front that have seen them being ousted from the Champions League and dropping to eighth spot in the La Liga standings.
According to the British publications, Xavi believes Cavani could be a like for like replacement for former Man City striker Sergio Aguero, who couldn't ply his trade for Barcelona because he was forced to retire from the game due to heart problems.
Meanwhile, there is intense speculation in Spain that Cavani has already spoken to Barcelona's management about his switch to Spain.
But United's unexpected move to not allow him to leave at this juncture has stalled his departure, at least for the time being.
It is being said that rising coronavirus cases in Premier League clubs is the main reason behind United's rigid stand as the pandemic has once again underlined the need to keep a large squad in place for changing scenarios, considering a lot of games have been cancelled in recent days.
United have itself experienced COVID from close quarters, with their match against Brighton postponed due to an outbreak at the club last week.
The Red Devils had no choice but to reschedule the game as United were left with only seven players - the remainder were either in quarantine due to being in close contact with those infected or were infected with the virus themselves.
Yet, United only want to keep Cavani for the next six months and Lionel Messi's former club could still sign the Uruguay international in the summer of next year on a free transfer.
Cavani will be back in action next week when the Red Devils take on Newcastle in a Premier League game on 27 December.