Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani personally phoned Boca Juniors’ Juan Roman Riquelme to beg for a transfer last season, according to the former Argentina star.
Cavani, 34, was trying to find a way out at Old Trafford because of a lack of first-team action under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was thought that the veteran forward was looking to return to South America with Boca. It was just six months after Cavani had joined United on a free transfer.
But the forward was struggling to get into Solskjaer’s first team plans and now it has been confirmed that he was looking for an escape route.
Cavani rang Boca Juniors vice-president Riquelme to try and force through a move. And it was only the November game against Southampton which changed the dynamic at Old Trafford.
Riquelme told TNT Sports via AS: “In January, Cavani called me to tell me that he wanted to come because he was playing little there.
“I’ve been talking to him for a long time and he called me in January to come over because he wasn’t playing there.
“I remember we talked one day and the next day he came in and scored two goals in the last minutes. He made a great comeback.
“From then on he began to score goals in all the games.”
Indeed Cavani replaced Mason Greenwood at half-time against Southampton and assisted Bruno Fernades before duly scoring with two headers as United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
That lit the blue-touch paper for Cavani at Old Trafford and Uruguay national team boss Oscar Tabarez got his wish of wanting Cavani to stay in Manchester.
Cavani ended the season with 17 goals and eventually penned a new 12-month contract extension.
The forward though looks likely to leave at the end of the season with Brazilian side Palmeiras and Barcelona and Real Madrid understood to be interested.
Solskjaer though is insistent that Cavani has plenty to offer. After the win at Spurs, he said: “We’ve got experience together with Cristiano and Edinson.
“I’ve been here more or less three years now as a manager. And Tuesday’s training performance from Edinson Cavani is probably the best performance anybody has put in here.
“The old men led from the front. They played well together and have loads of respect for each other.
“We have loads of talented players to learn from those two. And they have to learn as quick as they can.
“The work rate they put in and the quality was second to none. They play for the club, no matter what.”
However. Uruguayan journalist Rodrigo Romano has revealed the striker is a doubt to face Man City because he is suffering from a tendon injury.
Cavani is believed to have picked up the injury late in the 3-0 win over Tottenham.
The forward started the 2-2 draw with Atalanta on the bench. He arrived with 20 minutes remaining of the draw, but remains a doubt to face City.
Cavani isn’t fully fit and ‘is not training normally’, according to Romano.