Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd deal fades as Xavi makes Barcelona promise to ex-Chelsea man in ‘advanced talks’

Jonny Whitfield
Barcelona manager Xavi, December 2021

Alvaro Morata is now the top January transfer target in attack for Barcelona following initial interest in Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani, a report has claimed.

Barca head coach Xavi is looking to shape his squad in his mould in his first transfer window in charge. Despite the club’s troublesome financial situation, the La Liga club are making progress.

Attack has emerged as an area that needs work and Barcelona have therefore signed Ferran Torres. The former Manchester City man has moved back to his native Spain for a reported £55million.

A new striker is also on Xavi’s agenda following Sergio Aguero’s early retirement because of a heart issue.

And United striker Cavani had emerged as a firm transfer candidate. He is into the final six months of his Old Trafford deal and his agent has revealed his client’s dissatisfaction at his current situation.

However, AS now claims that Cavani is a background consideration. That is because Juventus’ on-loan Atletico Madrid striker Morata is their top target.

In fact, Barcelona have entered ‘advanced talks’ with his agent, Juanma Lopez, over a deal. Xavi has also spoken to the player, who revealed that he feels unhappy in Turin.

A loan deal to Barcelona looks a possibility for Morata, such has been the way of his career of late.

Cavani could be the next player heading to Barcelona

Man United's Cavani has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

But Xavi supposedly promised that he wants to keep the ex-Real Madrid man for longer than just six months.

Indeed, the manager rates Morata as ‘one of the best strikers’ in the world. He also admires his ‘versatility’ and ‘experience’ among other traits.

The striker has been key for Juventus this season, missing only one Serie A game and scoring seven goals in all competitions.

As such, they intend to replace him with either Marseille’s Arkadiusz Milik or Gianluca Scamacca of Sassuolo.

Morata to Barcelona has appeal

Juventus forwards Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski 2021

AS adds, though, that Morata will have to take a reduction to his current €10million (£8million) per year salary if Barcelona are to comply with Financial Fair Play agreements.

However, the move appeals to the Spain international because he has connections to several players in the squad.


Man Utd, Liverpool and Newcastle stars among 10 who need January moves


Morata worked with Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Jordi Alba at Euro 2020 as Spain reached the semi-finals.

Once Barcelona agree a deal and salary with Morata and Atletico Madrid, though, he can transfer clubs ‘immediately’, the report adds.

Nevertheless, if Cavani does end up leaving United for Barcelona, the Red Devils are reportedly eyeing a Ligue 1 star as his successor.

READ MORE: Man Utd star ‘leaving’ but proven successor could soften Rangnick blow