Edinson Cavani says he would have quit Manchester United if he knew Ronaldo was signing
Edinson Cavani has told ESPN Brasil he would have quit Manchester United last summer if he knew Cristiano Ronaldo was signing.
Ronaldo clinched his move to Manchester United at the summer transfer deadline, leaving Edinson Cavani with no time to find an alternative club.
Cavani gave up his number 7 shirt to the returning icon, and has seen his game time limited by Ronaldo’s arrival – although injury has arguably played a far bigger part.
The Uruguayan said he has no ill feeling towards Ronaldo and he understands why United brought him back, but he knew it would not work in his own interests.
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If he knew Ronaldo was signing…
Cavani said if he knew Ronaldo was signing, he would have requested a transfer away from the club to find a new team. He had only just renewed his contract last summer for an extra year.
He explained: “Speaking the truth, because I always tell the truth, as it should be. The moment it happened, I thought it was good that Manchester signed Cristiano.
“Knowing a little about the world of football today, the first thing I did was call my brother and I said: ‘Fernando, if this had happened a week ago, I would have asked you to sign another club.
“But not because I didn’t want to play with Cristiano Ronaldo. Not. Because I had the opportunity to meet him, and he’s a great professional, with his goals, and that’s perfect for sportsmen. But as I know, after years in football, how things are these days.
“It was more about understanding the situation. Not because I couldn’t play in my place at Manchester, but because there are a lot of things in football today that are different from how they were with other managers, like they were before, years ago. I thought: let’s play, do the best we can.
“Over time, regardless of my injuries at the club, which kept me away from the season a little… I went through difficult situations, different from what I faced last year.”
Cavani added that ‘he had no doubt’ he could still enjoy a successful season, but concedes that due to injuries, it has not worked out.
Disappointing season for Cavani
The striker has scored only two goals the whole season, both in 2021, after netting 17 in the previous season.
He has started only one match since the January transfer window. Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo has been consistent, scoring 24 goals in all competitions, including 18 in the Premier League.
Ronaldo’s goal output and fitness made him the superior option to Cavani, who clearly was not a striker Manchester United could rely on.
Part of the issue with the Ronaldo signing was obviously the lack of planning on United’s part. The late deal was more opportunistic rather than carefully thought out, and Cavani was evidently disgruntled by the addition, even though he has kept it quiet until now. His perspective has long been suspected, and now he has confirmed how he really felt.
He knew he would be second fiddle to Ronaldo, even giving up his shirt, but the sad part is that he did not fight enough for his spot. Ronaldo could have used the help at times this season, and the pair could have formed a strong partnership.
The one game they started up front together was away at Tottenham and both players scored. Sadly the duo were not able to build on this together, with Cavani picking up one of his many injuries soon after.
The forward is set to be released at the end of the season, and while he is a class act, this week spending time with a young fan who begged him not to leave, the 2021/22 campaign goes down as a frustrating one for Cavani, and United as a whole.