Manchester United could turn to Paris Saint-Germain striker Mauro Icardi as a long-term replacement for Edinson Cavani, reports claim.
Cavani joined Man Utd after being released by PSG last summer. He has made a positive impression at Old Trafford but doubts remain about his future. His contract runs out in June and there has been speculation that he could return to South America rather than extend it.
Even if Cavani stays, United will still be thinking about the future of their attack. The 34-year-old won’t be at his best forever and an option will be needed to solidify their attack for multiple seasons ahead.
Erling Haaland could be one target, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having worked with him earlier in his career at Molde. The Man Utd boss remains in contact with the Borussia Dortmund striker, but there is a lot of competition.
Besides, the price tag may be too high for United, forcing them to look for alternatives. And one option could be Icardi.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, United are considering a move for the PSG striker. He has fallen out of favour this season, with Everton loanee Moise Kean sometimes impressing in his place.
Icardi still has three years of contract left in Paris. But even though he insists he is happy there, he may be looking for somewhere he can start more regularly.
United would be able to offer him that. What’s more, they would be able to meet his asking price. PSG are only demanding between €30m and €40m for the 28-year-old.
With Champions League qualification looking likely, that would be within reach for United. Therefore, Icardi would be a feasible alternative to someone as costly as Haaland.
In turn, a sale of Icardi would help PSG raise the funds they need to buy Kean permanently from Everton. Hence, they are unlikely to stand in the Argentine’s way if a suitable offer comes in.
Icardi has only started 10 games in Ligue 1 this season, coming on in five more. He has scored five goals in the league as well as two more in cup competitions.
It has been a reduction on his output from last season, when he netted 12 goals from 20 league appearances. If entrusted as an outright first choice for a club, though, he could get back to his best levels.
Solskjaer quiet about Haaland
Earlier this week, Solskjaer was reluctant to go into detail about the strikers that United may pursue.
Haaland’s future in particular has dominated the news in recent days after his agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge visited some of his potential suitors.
“Well, I’m focusing on the next two months and whatever happens in the world of football there are only so many places anyone can go to,” he said. “For us, focus on the ones who are here.
“Even though I worked with Erling it’s not right for me as Man Utd manager to talk about Erling. I can talk about an ex-coach of his but he will make his own mind up.
“I think the way the world works at the moment, you’d like to do all your business on the quiet and all your talks on the quiet, but there are platforms everywhere, there’s news, the media make that more difficult now.
“Hopefully, we can suddenly sit here with players that no one has written about! We conduct our recruitment business, our scouting, and the players that we are interested in, we do it the right way I hope and feel.
“Who we’re interested in and who we can go for and who we will go for, I’m not going to comment on that.”