Edinson Cavani: Why Manchester United have signed former PSG striker as free agent

Cavani joins on one-year contract with option of another year

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Monday 05 October 2020 22:05
Cavani's hat-trick in Napoli's 4-3 win vs Lazio

Manchester United believe that Edinson Cavani could have a similar impact to Zlatan Ibrahimovic after moving late in the transfer window to sign the former Paris Saint-Germain striker.

The Uruguay international arrives at Old Trafford on a one-year contract, with the club retaining the option of extending his terms for an additional 12 months.

Cavani's wages are understood to be considerable, with a reported salary of up to £250,000-a-week, but the cost is at least somewhat off-set by the deal’s lack of a transfer fee.

The 33-year-old's representatives touted their client around Europe this summer and are demanded a €10m fee for their services as part of any deal. United are understood to have negotiated a lower sum.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was eager to sign cover for first-choice striker Anthony Martial during the summer window, with Odion Ighalo's loan from Shanghai Shenhua set to expire at the end of January.

United believe that Cavani can be a leader in the dressing room and set an example for younger players, including Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, who he will complement in United's front-line.

Cavani has scored 341 goals in 556 games during his senior club career, though missed 22 games during his final season at PSG due to injury and last played a competitive fixture seven months ago.

United accept that Cavani represents a short-term and opportunisitic signing but believe he fits within the club's broader recruitment strategy of combining proven talent with players developed from the academy.

Ibrahimovic is cited as a veteran player who made a lasting impression at United during his 18-month spell between 2016 and 2018. Cavani played alongside the Swede during their time at PSG.

On the announcement of Cavani’s signing, Solskjaer said: “Edinson is an experienced ultimate professional who always gives everything for his team. 

"His goalscoring record for club and country is fantastic and we are delighted to sign a player of his calibre.

“He’ll bring energy, power, leadership and a great mentality to the squad but, most importantly, he’ll bring goals. 

"He has had a brilliant career so far, winning trophies at almost every club he has played for, and he still has so much more to give at the highest level.

“The opportunity for our young players to learn from one of Europe’s top goalscorers over the last 10 years is fantastic and it will really benefit them going forward.

“Edinson knows exactly what it takes to succeed and we are all looking forward to seeing him make an impact at Manchester United.”

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