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Keeping Edinson Cavani may be best piece of transfer business Man Utd do all summer

As Man Utd try to bridge the gap between…

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keeping edinson cavani may be best piece of transfer business man utd do all summer
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Inflation is an absolute nightmare – mainly because your dad won’t shut up telling you about how much Mars bars used to cost – but football inflation is whole new level.

25 years ago you could sign one of the best strikers in the world for £15m, whereas nowadays you’re talking ten times that amount before clubs will even entertain offers for the likes of Harry Kane and Erling Haaland – Mars bars being double the price doesn’t seem so bad now eh, dad?

Modern-day football is absolutely awash with billionaire owners looking to cash in on one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, and it’s because there’s so much money in the game that clubs are able to demand such lofty fees for their prized assets.

So, if you’ve got a ridiculously talented centre-forward in your squad – regardless of his age – you need to do absolutely everything within your powers to keep hold of him, and that’s exactly the attitude Manchester United need to have with Edinson Cavani.

Eyebrows were raised when the Red Devils brought the then 33-year-old to Old Trafford last October – and that’s before reports emerged that the club had been forced to shell out €10m (£8.7m) in agent fees as part of the ‘free transfer’ – and it’s clear to see why.

Undoubtedly in the twilight of his career, the Uruguayan frontman had mustered just 14 appearances in Ligue 1 with Paris Saint-Germain the season prior to signing for United, with persistent injury issues limiting his involvement in the first team and subsequently seeing him record his lowest league goals tally for 14 seasons. PSG opted to let him walk away before their failed Champions League bid in Lisbon, too.

Recruiting a veteran of the game in the twilight of their career can have a number advantages when it comes to helping out the youngsters in the squad, though the fact of the matter is United were signing Cavani as a backup option who would need to have an impact on the matchday squad.

He’s not done too badly, has he?

The ageing frontman has already racked up 33 appearances in all competitions – notching 12 goals and five assists – and has played a key role in United’s bid to secure Champions League football, with reports emerging they may already have convinced him to stay for another season.

Cavani’s goals alone have secured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side an extra six points in the Premier League this season, and while that may not seem a lot, if you were to take said points away from United’s current tally they’d still be fighting for their place in the top four rather than being comfortable in second place and able to focus the majority of their efforts on the Europa League.

Cavani has produced a number of striker masterclasses since his move to Old Trafford – with his match-winning substitute appearance at Southampton earlier in the season a particular highlight – though his display against Roma in the first leg of his side’s Europa League semi-final on Thursday topped the lot.

With Marcus Rashford unable to get a foothold in the game and Mason Greenwood watching from the bench, Cavani saw his opportunity to lead the United line and grab the limelight – and wow did he do just that.

His linkup play with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba seemed to be telepathic, grabbing himself two goals, two assists and winning the penalty for Fernandes’ second of the night.

The first goal of his brace was quintessential Cavani, linking up play with the midfield before being played through on goal and barely picking his head up before powering an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

Of course, the 34-year-old forward’s physical powers may be on the wane, but when your movement is that good and your ability to drop off and build up play is that effortless, possessing blistering pace is pretty much redundant anyway.

United have come on leaps and bounds this season under Solskjaer, though nobody connected with the club is under any illusions as to just how big a task it will be for them to bridge the gap between themselves and neighbours Manchester City.

The Red Devils have a number of areas in their squad which need addressing and should Cavani move on this summer he’ll leave a huge void at the club which they’ll have to fill.

Securing his future for yet another year will allow United time to assess their options before he does call it a day at Old Trafford, while affording them time to strengthen in other areas, and extending his deal could be the best piece of business they do all summer.

Source: 90 Mins

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