Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has said clearly that he will not allow Edinson Cavani to leave the club in the January window.
Cavani has reportedly felt unhappy after Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival relegated him to second choice striker.
FC Barcelona and Corinthians were among the teams believed to be extremely keen to capture the Uruguayan’s signature this month, but Rangnick has shut the door firmly shut on any possible move.
Speaking at the Wolves pre-match press conference, the boss said:
‘We have had quite a few conversations over the last couple of weeks, probably the player with whom I have spoken the most.
‘I told him from the very first day 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 and his work ethic is just amazing. I told him that I desperately want him to stay and stay until the end of the season, and he knows that.
‘He knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him. That was also the reason why I played him today [against Burnley] from the beginning, together with Cristiano [Ronaldo].’
Further questions about trimming the squad in this month’s window then provoked a very emphatic statement from the boss about the 34-year-old.
‘I think you will understand that I don’t want to talk about individual players in public. I know from some players that they would want to leave.
‘We spoke about Edi, and he knows that I will definitely not let him go. For me, he is a highly important player for the rest of the season, [we’re] still playing in three competitions so we will definitely need Edi.
‘I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it is clear Edi has to stay.’
He also referred back to the decision when asked if Ronaldo might need to be rested.
‘I don’t see why he shouldn’t able to play three games in eight days but if at one stage we need to rest him it is no problem, but then it’s even more important to have Edinson in the squad,’ he said.
It will certainly come as a blow to a player who seemed to have his heart set on a move to La Liga and in particular to fill the void left at Barça by the unfortunate Kun Aguero. However, Cavani is a consummate professional and is highly unlikely to sulk or protest the decision that the German has made.