The president of Benfica has claimed that Edinson Cavani would have joined them rather than Manchester United if they had met him.
Cavani joined Man Utd late in the transfer window to add experience in attack. As a free agent after leaving PSG, there had been a lot of competition for his signature.
One of the main contenders before his United move was Benfica. The Portuguese club signed Jan Vertonghen on a free from Tottenham over the summer, and were pursuing a deal for another experienced free agent at the other end of the pitch in Cavani.
The prolific 33-year-old striker, however, received a better offer from United.
Now, Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has revealed how close Cavani was to joining the Portuguese club instead.
“Benfica made a proposal, sensible and the one we could make to sign Cavani,” Vieira told RTP (via Sport Witness).
“Everything led us to believe we’d close the deal, but when things start to take a while I asked them to send a proposal in writing. And when I go to see it was practically twice what we had said.
“Then I said we were not interested. I confirm that we were interested, but I can guarantee that if I had met with him, he’d have signed.”
Cavani still one of world’s best strikers
Cavani is yet to make his debut for his new club, and will not be available to face his former side PSG in United’s Champions League opener.
However, his former boss Thomas Tuchel was still asked about Cavani in the buildup to the game.
“They’ve got a great personality, like with many of the biggest players of the game – it’s the same with Edi,” the PSG head coach said of the 33-year-old Uruguayan.
“Very polite, almost a bit shy. Hard, hard worker. He will be there in every training (session) first minute until last minute. Every game from first second until last second. You can totally rely on him.
“He’s living for goals, living for scoring. When he scores, when he has the confidence, he’s one of the (best) number nines in world football.”