Manchester United Transfer News: Why Red Devils Shouldn't Pursue Edinson Cavani

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Manchester United Transfer News: Why Red Devils Shouldn't Pursue Edinson Cavani
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Edinson Cavani has reportedly instructed his agent to look into a move to the English Premier League, but Manchester United should look elsewhere during the remainder of the 2014 summer transfer window.

The Red Devils have been linked with seemingly every player in Europe, and the Uruguayan striker is no exception. Cavani told reporters during the 2014 World Cup he wouldn't rule out a transfer move, via Sky Sports:

In football, you never know. Anything can happen. One day you are in one team and, the next day, you can be in another.

The prolific forward joined current club Paris Saint-Germain last season after a productive spell in Italy with Palermo and Napoli, and his first season in the French capital was a successful one.

PSG won the Ligue 1 title and the Coupe de la Ligue, and per WhoScored.com, Cavani scored 16 league goals while mainly playing out of position.

That position lies at the core of the current issue—Cavani is a pure striker, and Les Parisiens already have somebody to occupy that position in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Of the two, Cavani is the more versatile, and as a result, the Uruguay international has been forced to play the bulk of his minutes as a wide man.

Cavani has pace and technique, but his best attributes are his finishing, his touch inside the box and his ability to convert crosses. He works very well with his back toward the goal, and he's excellent at creating space for a shot.

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

As a wide man, those attributes essentially become useless. Instead, Cavani has to play in space, fire in crosses and open up running lanes for his teammates.

It's a testament to his abilities that he's still successful with the French club, but his play visibly regressed during the 2013-14 season. When he was finally given the opportunity to move inside, he almost looked as if he had forgotten how to play as a target man.

Cavani's desire to move to England and play as a pure striker is understandable, but United isn't the answer. The Red Devils already have a solid striker in Robin van Persie, who presents Louis van Gaal with a bit of a conundrum.

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

RVP is a proven Premier League forward and a compatriot who produced for Van Gaal during the 2014 World Cup. He's also ageing and has a history of health concerns.

The Dutchman has been one of the team's most productive players in recent years, and moving or replacing him might not set well with his teammates. More importantly, he holds little value in the transfer market due to his age and injury history.

Simply put, Van Persie is too productive to sell at a reduced price, even for a club as financially stable as United.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Speaking of reduced prices: PSG broke the French transfer record to bring Cavani to the club in 2013, per Sky Sports. The French outfit paid £55 million for his services, and they won't like the prospect of selling their prized striker just one year later.

Les Parisiens are backed by some of the wealthiest owners in all of football, and while moving Cavani would be good business as far as Financial Fair Play regulations are concerned, the club doesn't bother with FFP.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

The only realistic scenario that would see Cavani leave Paris this summer is in a swap deal for a player who fills a direct need. Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba are the names that come to mind, and the Red Devils don't have a player who fits the criteria.

Could United launch a massive offer for Cavani? Yes, but it would severely limit their opportunities of strengthening the team in other, more pressing areas.

Cavani is a phenomenal player and one of the few stars in football who would arguably make any team better. But at this point in time, it just makes no sense for the Red Devils to pursue the Uruguayan.

 

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