Manchester United have identified Edinson Cavani as the replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic according to the reports from Express Sports. Even though the Swedish striker is on course to signing a one-year contract extension with the Red Devils, United are concerned about the longevity of their forward line-up. Rooney is on the wrong side of 30, while Ibrahimovic is unlikely to play at the top level beyond next season. All these reasons have led to United being consistently linked with a number of centre-forwards. Now, the club are confident that Cavani will be a capable replacement.
The Uruguayan has been a long-term transfer target for the club even from his days at Napoli. However, the club were not prepared to match the £65 million transfer fee paid by Paris St Germain for his services in 2013. After spending the last couple of years in the shadows of Ibrahimovic, Cavani has started proving his worth as a first-team regular. He has scored 16 goals in 15 appearances this season. Even though PSG have not been able to dominate the French league as they have done in recent seasons, they have been in the mix for the title largely because of the goals from the 29-year-old.
Even though Cavani is fast approaching the age of 30, United are reportedly interested in him as the club believe that they can sign him on the cheap. Cavani’s contract ends in the summer of 2018, and PSG have offered him a new three-year contract as a result of having less than 18 months left on his current contract. In the summer, Cavani’s market value will depreciate considerably while interested parties can negotiate a potential pre-contact agreement in 12 months from now.
The opportunity to sign Cavani for around £20 million – almost half of this transfer value – will sound like an enticing deal for any club considering the experience and quality that he provides to the team. As Rooney becomes increasingly frustrated with life on the bench, it is highly likely that he may come in with a transfer request in the summer. Cavani may not only become the replacement for Ibrahimovic, but he may also act as a replacement for Rooney come the summer.
United have certainly learned that replacing Ibrahimovic will not be easy even though the 35-year-old has been at Old Trafford only for the last few months. He has scored eight goals in 14 league appearances this season. The club went on an extremely bad run during the months of October and November and it was not a coincidence that Ibrahimovic was struggling for form during this period.