Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is one of a number of players Manchester United are monitoring as the club look to continue their squad rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the coming months.
United have endured a difficult start to the 2019/20 season. Winning just two games from eight in the Premier League, they sit in 12th place ahead of a meeting with unbeaten leaders and rivals Liverpool in their next fixture.
They have been struggling with a number of injuries to key players through the opening weeks of the campaign – both Paul Pogba and David de Gea have been confirmed absent for the upcoming clash at Old Trafford – and questions have been asked over training methods put in place following a series of muscle injuries to key men.
The injury crisis has been shown up further by the decisions made over the summer to let a number of established first team players leave the club. As many as six players departed on permanent or loan transfers, leaving the squad noticeably thin in both midfield and attack. The recent luck with injuries has only further highlighted the lack of depth.
United, through Solskjaer in the main, have been keen to communicate frequently that they are at the start of a rebuild, and that more new arrivals will follow the three (Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire) that arrived in the most recent transfer window. The 46-year-old has confirmed as such this week, though they are keen to ensure the right characters are brought in to the squad too.
90min understands that while United maintain the January market is a difficult one to do business in, there is plenty of money to spend if the right targets become available. Cavani’s name exists on a list of targets – alongside Mario Mandzukic, whose name has been widely reported – to bolster their striking options.
While United have been clear in communicating their wish to build a squad for the future, some within the club feel it necessary to blend in players with more experience to help take the burden off of the likes of Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.
The Croatian is yet to play a game for Juventus this season, and has lost his place in the squad under new coach Maurizio Sarri. The Bianconeri are keen to offload at the earliest opportunity and United’s name has been repeatedly mentioned in his list of possible destinations, and it is not out of the question that he does join in January.
With that said, the deal is not as far developed as reported in some places. Milan are reported in Italy to have stepped up their own interest in the player, too, on Thursday.
Cavani comes as another option. The Uruguayan – out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer – could be lined up on a free transfer in 2020. United are able to offer him a contract six months ahead of the end of his deal expiring, should PSG and the player fail to reach a further agreement, though a move in January does appear unlikely.
His signature will be far more coveted, too. Juventus have been strongly linked with a move for the 32-year-old, while Atletico Madrid are known admirers and a number of clubs in Major League Soccer are exploring the possibility of signing him too.
Speaking on Cavani ahead of Friday’s match with Nice, manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed he was unsure of the future of the club’s highest goalscorer: “It’s too soon to speak about such things. I’m sure Edi is speaking with the club. He knows it’s his club.
“I don’t know Edi’s ideas exactly at the moment. I count 100 per cent on Edi this season.”
Moussa Dembele, of Lyon, has attracted interest, while RB Salzburg forward Erling Haaland is also on the club’s radar – especially following after his exploits since the start of the season.
Haaland is one of three Norwegian players United are interested in signing. And while at least one new addition in attack over the next few months is desired, it’s not expected to be the only place United strengthen. A number of central midfielders, as well as an attacking midfielder, are on the wanted list, while defensive acquisitions are not believed to be finished either.
United also retain a confidence they will be able to sign Jadon Sancho to fill the problem right wing position, though will need to improve to better their chances of securing such a signing.
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