Edinson Cavani’s ongoing injury battles make it seem right now that his Manchester United career is coming to an end this summer.
Cavani has been linked with a return to South America [via ESPN], with his contract set to expire in June.
United have an option to trigger it, but Cavani’s fitness struggles make it tough to justify this.
It has been clear this season that Cavani is simply a sticking plaster solution to United’s striker problem, just like Odion Ighalo was before him.
There is now added pressure on Manchester United’s new director of football John Murtough to solve the issue.
In an ideal scenario, Cavani would have stayed fit, and signed his new contract already, and we would be looking forward to a second season of the Uruguayan at Old Trafford.
Now with reality hitting over his injuries, it’s clear that even if he did re-sign, the same problems would persist, with fitness problems also blighting his final season at PSG.
United need a longer term fix, while balancing this with other areas of need.
Dream scenario and long-term plans, or a spectacular alternative?
The dream option for United would be to sign Erling Haaland. The MEN report Murtough and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both agree the Norwegian should be the first choice option.
Signing him will be tough. There is a lot of competition and Dortmund can drive a high price.
So United could focus on other moves, wait for Haaland’s release clause in 2022, and try a spectacular alternative like Cristiano Ronaldo on a one-year deal.
Ronaldo is like Cavani, just with a superior fitness record and emotional connection to fans. This is the only short-term move United should consider.
Beyond that if Haaland is not available and Ronaldo is a no-go, United need to get somebody in, a young, promising striker who can develop at the club.
Patson Daka of Red Bull Salzburg is an exciting option with 26 goals in 30 games this season. He is just 22.
Andre Silva has been starring for Frankfurt and has 19 goals to his name – the same Bundesliga tally as Haaland. At 25, he could be a good solution for the next few years.
Whichever route United end up taking, the club have to get it right. Gambling on Cavani for one more year seems like less of an option with every passing week.
Murtough is entering his first summer as United director of football, and there is real pressure on him to get this one right, straight away.
If Cavani was fit and firing, and helped United get past Milan, then Murtough would have the luxury of taking his time with a striker and focusing on other areas. Now, instead, this is an issue he needs to solve.
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