EPL

Manchester United prepare for Cavani future talks as Solskjaer praises veteran striker

By Sports Desk February 19, 2021

Manchester United will holds talks with Edinson Cavani "in the near future" as his short-term contract nears its end, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared.

The Uruguayan striker joined in October on a season-long deal as Solskjaer found an experienced frontman to complement the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

At the time of his arrival, United announced they had an option to extend Cavani's stay for a further year, and the former Paris Saint-Germain player is reportedly eager to remain at the club.

He has scored six times in eight Premier League starts and nine substitute appearances, at an average of one goal every 140.83 minutes.

That is the best minutes-per-goals ratio in the United squad, in terms of this season's Premier League, with Bruno Fernandes (144.21 minutes per goal) in second place.

Solskjaer has said he considers Cavani as "definitely a starter" and has included the 34-year-old in United's line-up for their last four Premier League games.

"I can only say Edinson has done well," Solskjaer said, ahead of Sunday's home game against Newcastle United.

"I've been impressed by him. He's really gelled in the group and we'll sit down with him and speak with him in the near future to see his plans and our plans.

"It's a good discussion. You always speak to your players, and with his contract situation at the moment, we're very pleased with what he's done."

With his words and his actions, Solskjaer appears keen for Cavani to stay at Old Trafford.

Having become PSG's record scorer with 200 goals, Cavani has helped United mount a title challenge in England, albeit one that now appears to be fading.

Manchester City have streaked 10 points clear of United and Leicester City in the Premier League, heading into the weekend, and it would take some turnaround for Pep Guardiola's team to be denied a third Premier League crown in four years.

"We can't hide the fact we have dropped off on our form in the last few weeks," Solskjaer said.

United's Norwegian boss said the team needed to rediscover their verve, saying: "Newcastle will be a very important game for us."

To acknowledge the title is heading to City at this stage would be a weak move for any manager of United.

"I don't think anyone would say they're not going to go for it," Solskjaer said. "We're going to go for a win in every game we play.

"Whatever other teams do, we can't control. We've just got to control ourselves. We are second, and of course your ambition then is to not end any lower than that.

"We're going to have to get a good run together if we're going to put pressure on City, and it should start on Sunday of course."

Cavani and Donny van de Beek missed the 4-0 Europa League win at Real Sociedad on Thursday with muscle injuries but could come into contention for the Newcastle game, but Paul Pogba remains sidelined.

Solskjaer says United's players must give their all at this stage of the campaign, saying: "Of course it's relentless. You've got to put your body on the line."

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Ed Woodward to leave Man Utd BREAKING NEWS: Ed Woodward to leave Man Utd

    Ed Woodward is to leave his role as executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, Stats Perform News understands.

    The news came amid widespread speculation a planned European Super League is set to collapse.

    Woodward was reportedly one of the driving forces behind the planned 12-team breakaway, which was announced on Sunday.

    The proposals proved hugely unpopular and drew widespread criticism from fans, pundits and players – including United's own Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw – along with managers and politicians, with UEFA promising harsh sanctions for the clubs involved.

    It is understood the 49-year-old Woodward was already set to leave the club at the end of 2021 and that he will continue to fulfil his duties until then.

    Woodward's departure is said to be an amicable one and not related to the European Super League.

    Often a decisive figure with United's fanbase, Woodward effectively acted as the club's chief executive, having previously advised the Glazer family during their takeover at Old Trafford in 2005.

    Woodward took on a commercial role at the club two years later, before being appointed as an executive vice-chairman in 2012, following David Gill's retirement. 

    Though he helped secure big-money signings such as Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, Woodward's running of United has drawn much criticism.

  • European Super League: Breakaway competition appears to crumble as Chelsea, Man City lead reported exodus European Super League: Breakaway competition appears to crumble as Chelsea, Man City lead reported exodus

    The European Super League seems to have crumbled before it started, with four of the 12 teams reportedly set to withdraw.

    News broke on Tuesday evening, European time, that Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were preparing to pull out of the breakaway competition, which was announced amid much furore on Sunday. 

    The Premier League's "big six" plus sides from Italy and Spain confirmed their intention to form a new tournament, which would not feature promotion or relegation. 

    It is a move that has drawn widespread criticism from across the game and beyond, with governing bodies, governments, fellow football clubs, players and managers condemning the action.

    After huge protests outside Stamford Bridge ahead of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea were reportedly the first team to crack, with rumours of their imminent withdrawal appearing in several credible publications.

    The scheduled 20:15 GMT kick-off of Chelsea v Brighton was then put back by 15 minutes.

    Similar reports followed regarding City, whose manager Pep Guardiola confirmed his opposition to the proposal while previewing Wednesday's meeting with Aston Villa.

    Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggested LaLiga giants Barca and Atleti had also informed organisers of their intention to leave the competition, within 24 hours of Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez giving an extensive interview in defence of the Super League that in hindsight looks to have done little to help its cause.

    It remains to be seen if any punishment will be handed out to the clubs. UEFA, with the backing of FIFA, vowed to deal harsh sanctions to the teams involved, while in England, the Premier League promised to do "everything in its power" to stop the breakaway from coming to fruition. 

  • European Super League: Milan chief Gazidis claims breakaway will 'capture the imagination' European Super League: Milan chief Gazidis claims breakaway will 'capture the imagination'

    Milan are "proud" to be part of Serie A but their chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes the European Super League will open up football to billions of fans.

    The Rossoneri, along with Juventus and Inter, were among 12 teams included in Sunday's seismic Super League announcement.

    Reaction has been sustained and vitriolic, with UEFA, FIFA and the Premier League among those to condemn the plans, alongside Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola – despite Liverpool and Manchester City also being on the initial roster.

    Those involved have been accused of undermining their domestic competitions, by foregoing the challenge of qualifying for continental competitions in favour of a closed-shop arrangement.

    Nevertheless, Gazidis sought to reaffirm his club's commitment to Italy's top flight in a letter to commercial partners and sponsors.

    "Serie A will remain the most important weekend competition in Italy and Milan are proud to remain an important part of the pinnacle of Italian football," he said.

    "We're confident that this new competition will capture the imagination of billions of football fans all over the world and will be a new, exciting chapter for the game.

    "The Super League will provide value and support to the whole football pyramid with greater financial resources."

    Milan are back in action at home to Sassuolo on Wednesday, with solidifying a spot in the top four the priority for head coach Stefano Pioli – irrespective of what that might now mean in the greater scheme of things.

    “Milan have never finished top four in the last few years. It would be an important target for us that would prove our growth,” Pioli told a pre-match news conference.

    “We have a target, and it's an important one. We are focused on this. We'll see what happens in the future. I repeat, this is not the right time to talk about the Super League."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.