Edinson Cavani is close to leaving Manchester United in the January transfer window to join Spanish giants FC Barcelona.
We reported here yesterday that Barça was looking like a match made in heaven for the Uruguayan. The Blaugrana are desperate to sign a centre forward who can hit the ground running to replace Sergio Aguero, who announced his retirement this week due to heart problems.
And according to Barcelona-based Sport, the United player is top of the list and close to an agreement with the Spanish side.
‘Ferran Torres is a very expensive operation and, although everything is still open to sign the former Valencian player, other possibilities are also contemplated, especially in terms of pure centre forwards,’ the outlet reports.
‘Cavani is, in this sense, number one on the list, the one that [director of football] Mateu Alemany especially likes the most, who is well advanced in negotiations with him and is now in a position to offer the Uruguayan to the coaching staff of the first team.’
There are two outstanding issues according to the report. One is whether a deal can be reached with United and the other is the status of the ongoing tendon problem that has seen Cavani sit out the last 11 games.
‘Although the issue is advanced, everything is pending a meeting scheduled for the next few days with Manchester United,’ Sport says.
‘In addition, they are also waiting to see how Cavani returns from the Achilles tendon injury.
‘We will have to wait to see if the Uruguayan is fully recovered on a physical level.’
One issue to be resolved is whether United will demand some sort of transfer fee, even though Cavani has just six months left on his contract. It is also possible that they would block the transfer altogether if manager Ralf Rangnick is concerned about a lack of cover in the striker role.
However, the Reds then signed Cristiano Ronaldo as the transfer window was closing and Cavani was no longer first choice striker at the club.
Ronaldo’s presence, quarantine issues at the start of the season and the ongoing tendon problem have limited the 34-year-old to just 274 minutes of playing time this season, with only two starts.