Edinson Cavani will “definitely” be blocked from leaving Manchester United in January by Ralf Rangnick, the interim manager has confirmed.
Cavani is facing an uncertain future at Man Utd after a decrease in his gametime in relation to last season. The striker has only started three Premier League matches this term. Last year, he played 13 times from the start in the competition.
The return of Cristiano Ronaldo has no doubt had an affect on the space Cavani has in the team. They are capable of playing together, as they did recently against Burnley. However, in general, Rangnick will tend to pick one or the other.
Therefore, Cavani has been considering his future. He has been heavily linked with a January transfer to Barcelona. The La Liga outfit need a new striker after Sergio Aguero retired due to a heart issue.
Rumours in recent days have indicated that the track to take Cavani to Barcelona may be cooling. Even so, questions will continue to be asked of the 34-year-old’s place in United’s plans.
Now, interim boss Rangnick – who will remain a consultant to the club beyond the end of this season – has revealed he has held plenty of talks with Cavani. In doing so, he has made it clear that the South American will be staying put.
“We had a few conversations in the last couple of weeks – probably the player with whom I have spoken most,” Rangnick said.
Cavani leaving Man United will damage them
Cavani has been good for United and his loss will be felt in the club.
“I told him from the very first day that, for me, he is a highly important player. He is probably the only one who can play as a striker back to goal and face to goal.
“And, as I said, his professionalism, his work ethic is just amazing and I told him that I desperately want him to stay until the end of the season. He knows that. He also knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him, and that was also the reason why I played him from the beginning together with Cristiano.
Cavani will ‘definitely not’ leave
“He knows that I will definitely not let him go. I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it’s clear that Edi has to stay.”
Across his entire spell with United so far, Cavani has contributed 19 goals and six assists from 49 appearances.
Between the Premier League and Champions League, he has two goals from 10 games so far this season.
United are having to manage his workload carefully, though. Indeed, Rangnick recently revealed the centre-forward had asked not to start a game against Newcastle on Monday 27th December due to fitness doubts.
He subsequently featured from the start in their next game, against Burnley three days later.
It seems Cavani will have more opportunities to add to his tallies between now and the end of the season. By then, he will have reached the end of his contract at Old Trafford.