Manchester United: What Signing Edinson Cavani Would Mean for Red Devils

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Manchester United: What Signing Edinson Cavani Would Mean for Red Devils
Miguel Tovar/Getty Images
Edinson Cavani, Napoli's in-demand striker.

July has arrived, and with it comes lots of change at Manchester United.

The Old Trafford outfit started the month with a new manager, new backroom staff and the potential for lots of coming and goings in the transfer window.

Could Edinson Cavani be one of those players on his way into the club?

The 26-year-old has been linked with what seems like every side in Europe. That is, those who do not baulk at the player’s reported £53 million buy-out clause.

Manchester United are in elite company. If you believe the rumours, they are up against the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in a bid to wrestle Cavani away from Serie A side Napoli.

Cavani is said to be "furious" about the speculation surrounding his future, as reported on ESPN.co.uk, and has vowed, according to ESPN.co.uk, not to discuss a move until he has returned from a summer break.

However, this has done little to stem the flow of speculation surrounding the 26-year-old’s future.

On Tuesday the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield reported that Paris Saint-Germain are going to offer Napoli £50 million for the striker.

Elsewhere, Skysports.com suggested that Chelsea will make a formal approach for the Uruguayan this week.  

But, to play the (Red) Devil’s advocate, let’s imagine that Cavani does get a move to United. What would it mean for the club and what kind of an impact would it have on the Premier League?

 

A Rooney Exit

Wayne Rooney’s future at Old Trafford is yet to be determined and is one of the first things for David Moyes to tackle as United boss.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
David Moyes and Wayne Rooney, pictured in 2003 when the pair were at Everton.

In May the striker professed his desire to leave the reigning Premier League champions, for the second time during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, as reported here on the BBC Sport website.

Whether Rooney can be convinced to stay at the club remains to be seen. However, one thing looks certain—if Cavani comes, Wayne goes.

Cavani is rumoured to be commanding a weekly wage in the region of £300,000 a week, according to Alan Nixon in the Mirror

And Rooney, who reportedly earns in excess of £200,000 per week, is the highest-paid player at Manchester United.

It’s highly unlikely that the club, which is already saddled with huge debt, would shell out over £500,000 a week to pay the wages of two strikers after spending over £50 million to secure Cavani’s services.

By the Mirror’s reckoning, Moyes has the club's financial backing  to pursue Napoli’s No. 7. But the idea that the club would accommodate more than its preferred four strikers, plus the financial demands of both Rooney and Cavani is highly unlikely.

 

Letting Priorities Slip

Manchester United’s squad is in need of strengthening. However, buying a striker should not top Moyes’ list.

The Old Trafford defence needs to be shored up—Rio Ferdinand has agreed a one-year contract extension but age and injuries are creeping up on the 34-year-old.

Nemanja Vidic, 31, has been a rock in central defence but the injury-hit Serbian has already entered the final year of his contract and a new deal has not been tabled thus far.

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At 32, Patrice Evra looks like he might be on his way out of the side, with rumours linking him to Monaco gathering speed as United are linked with Everton’s Leighton Baines.

In Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Alex Buttner and the Da Silva twins, United are not short of options. However, few would argue that a leader for the future is not needed in the back line.

In midfield, it’s a similar story. Paul Scholes has already retired and Ryan Giggs is 39. Although the Welshman signed a one-year contract extension last March, it could be his last season playing for the club.

Nani, Antonio Valencia, Anderson and Ashley Young have all been in and out of form, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa are showing signs of promise and Michael Carrick was the only roundly celebrated midfielder last season.

Replacements are needed.

Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara looks like he could be on his way to Old Trafford, which would be a boon for the club.

Kevin Strootman, of PSV Eindhoven has also been linked with United, as reported here on ESPN.co.uk.

These are the positions United needs to fill. If the club spends upwards of £50 million on one showpiece striker, the rest of the team will suffer.

 

Goals, Goals, Goals

On paper, Cavani’s addition to the Manchester United squad would yield a glut of goals.

Last season, United hit the woodwork 24 times, which is more than any other team in the top flight.

Infographic from WhoScored.com

Cavani has scored a whopping 104 goals in 138 matches for Napoli. Add this kind of potency to a team that already boasts last season’s Premier League top scorer—Robin van Persie with 26 goals—and the possibilities are mind-boggling.

For a team that won their 20 th league title without playing their best football, this could mean a serious assault for silverware in 2013-14.

 

Welbeck and Hernandez—Fringe Players

Danny Welbeck and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez are both held in very high regard by United fans.

Welbeck is a local lad, who has come through the ranks at Old Trafford. Although he has not scored an abundance of goals for United, his potential is undeniable.

At 22, there are still big things to come from Welbeck, but consistent playing time is needed.

The same goes for Chicharito. The Mexico international took no time to bed in at Old Trafford, where he has scored 50 goals in 117 appearances.

Used mostly as an impact substitute, Chicharito is the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of modern-day Manchester United.

About to start his fourth season at the club, Chicharito is another player who would benefit from an extended run in the first team.

Were Cavani to arrive, it seems fair to assume that Welbeck and Chicharito would fall further down the pecking order and could be tempted to go out on loan or even leave the side.

 

Moyes—A Statement of Intent

If Moyes managed to entice Cavani to Old Trafford it could shape his entire career at Manchester United.

There are worries that big-name players will not come to United as easily as they did when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, waiting perhaps for a new era to take shape under Moyes.

At Everton, Moyes was a cautious spender. He had to be. But if the Scot signed Cavani, it would demonstrate serious clout in the transfer market.

The domino effect this would have cannot be underestimated, as Cavani could pave the way for many future big signings.

Cavani's future is yet to be decided, keep checking back to Bleacher Report for all the latest transfer news.

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