Man Utd could be inundated with a tempting January transfer offer from Barcelona, and the two keys to the deal’s success have been revealed.
The return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford has thus far been an unqualified success. Despite slipping to defeat against Aston Villa at the weekend, aspirations for the season are arguably higher than they have ever been in the post-Ferguson era.
Ronaldo has already bagged four goals in four games across all competitions. However, a major acquisition such as his always has repercussions elsewhere within the team.
Edinson Cavani exceeded expectations last season and was duly rewarded with a one-year contract extension. But key to his decision to pen fresh terms was a ‘promise‘ by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he would remain a key figure at the club.
That’s according to the Express, and thus far, Cavani has been afforded just 47 minutes of action. While the Uruguayan has been forced to miss time through Covid-19 quarantine and injury, his cameo against Villa on Saturday is perhaps the greatest indicator of Cavani’s new role.
The hitman was afforded just 10 minutes of action despite Man Utd struggling to break Villa’s stubborn resistance.
Displacing the re-signed Ronaldo at the spearhead of the attack will be a near-impossible task. As such, the Express reveal Barcelona are sensing an opportunity.
Citing the Star, it’s stated they are ‘readying a January raid’ for the veteran goal poacher. Barcelona were reportedly interested in signing the 34-year-old before he signed a new Man Utd contract in May.
But given the La Liga giant’s perilous financial situation, they will have two requirements in order to pull off the coup.
Firstly, it’s claimed they will only be able to sanction a loan deal. Secondly, they will demand Man Utd subsidise ‘as much as half’ of Cavani’s £250,000-per-week wages.
While that does not sound an enticing prospect for Man Utd, a reason is stated as to why they may yet consider a proposal.
The triple signings of Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane have ballooned the club’s wage bill. Cavani’s exit would remedy that situation to some small degree.
Whether a deal under those terms would be accepted, only time will tell. But the Express conclude an approach will likely hinge on the level of Cavani’s involvement between now and the winter window.
Man Utd could block player’s January request
Meanwhile, a Man Utd star searching for first-team football has become the subject of January exit speculation, though the club could scupper his plans, according to a pundit.
A report last week detailed Dean Henderson’s apparent desire to test himself out on loan once more. With David de Gea back to his best, Henderson may be forced to settle for a bit-part role if he remains at Old Trafford this season.
Should Man Utd agree to his demand, a transfer scramble would likely ensue. However, speaking to Football Insider, former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips has questioned whether Man Utd would sanction a deal.
“I’ve heard from people he wants to go out on loan and play football,” said Phillips. “De Gea has won the number one shirt back, there’s no doubt about that. Tom Heaton is there as well now.
“The kid got some good minutes in the EFL Cup but is that enough for him? We know he is a very good goalkeeper. I don’t think he wants to sit there, get stale and not play having played a lot of football over the last couple of years.
“I can understand why the player would want to go out on loan. It is just whether United would let him. I’m not sure they would. From the player’s point of view, he will want to go and play football. It makes sense.”