Football

Manchester United’s private chat with Edinson Cavani that ends Erling Haaland saga


Manchester United star Edinson Cavani sought assurances before signing a new contract with the club, reports say. And the fact he’s extended his Old Trafford stay suggests the Red Devils’ pursuit of Erling Haaland is over. The Borussia Dortmund star has long been linked with a move to the Premier League – but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may now go after Jadon Sancho instead.

Manchester United have seen Cavani flourish in recent weeks, with the Uruguay international scoring eight goals from his last seven matches.

And, now, they’ve tied him down to a new contract.

The 34-year-old was delighted in the aftermath, telling club media: “Over the season, I have developed a great affection for the club and everything that it represents.

“I feel a deep bond with my team-mates and the staff who work behind the scenes here.

“They give me extra motivation every day and I know that, together, we can achieve special things.

“From the very first moment that I arrived, I felt the confidence of the manager.

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“As a player, this belief gives you the perfect opportunity to play your best football and I want to thank him for that.

“I have been touched with how much the supporters have wanted me to stay, and I will give everything to bring them happiness and joy with my performances on the field.

“I’ve not yet been able to play in front of the Old Trafford crowd and that is something that I cannot wait to do.”

And the Daily Mail say that, before Cavani penned a new deal, he talked with Solskjaer and sought assurances over his playing time.

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Now, it’s claimed the Red Devils are unlikely to sign a new striker – effectively ending their pursuit of Haaland.

The Borussia Dortmund star has enjoyed a terrific campaign over at the Westfalenstadion, scoring 35 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined.

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But with United giving Cavani assurances, they’re unlikely to go after a world-class alternative.

Instead, it seems as though the Red Devils will rotate between the Uruguayan, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood when it comes to the centre-forward role.

And United now run the risk of seeing Haaland go elsewhere, with several other clubs keen to secure his signature.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is a big admirer of the Norway international and would love to snap him up, especially given the struggles of Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner this term.

Real Madrid are in the frame, too, even if Kylian Mbappe seems to be their priority at the current moment in time.

Barcelona can’t be entirely discounted, despite their lack of funds.

And Manchester City may sign Haaland as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, whose move away from the Etihad Stadium has also been confirmed.

Speaking on Monday, Cavani made it clear that both Solskjaer and the playing staff were key to his decision to stay put.

“Talking about the relationship with the manager, I think that any influence he has had hasn’t just been now at the moment of signing a new contract, but from the very first moment, even before I had signed, with conversations that I had with the manager,” he said.

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“The way that he put his trust in me, the way that he made his feelings known about me and the confidence that he had with me, that was great from the word go.

“But over time and as the months have passed, the situation has just confirmed what I originally thought about Ole and that confidence that he gave me.

“Obviously, as time has gone on and games have passed by, he has made some really positive comments privately and in the media about me, as have my team-mates and the technical staff, the backroom staff, here, so that really, really helps as well.

“I think when you are a player, it gives you a huge amount of confidence when you know you have the backing of not only your manager but also other people around you.

“When you do get glowing comments about you, that is a real positive and is something that you are really grateful for.

“One thing I would like to add here, which is very much to do with this question you have just asked me, is that it’s a lot to do with my team-mates.

“I have been really touched and moved by the lads in the dressing room, saying stuff like: ‘Edi, you can’t go; stay, stay, we love you, we don’t want you to leave’.

“You know, honestly and sincerely, that does give you that extra motivation to want to stay somewhere and gives you a real lift.

“It makes you want to give that extra bit more for the team, to want to stay longer, to try to achieve something and do your bit for the team in the future, so I was really touched by that.”

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