The Hard Tackle looks at three potential La Liga destinations for Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, who could leave Manchester United this summer.
A constant state of flux is the term that can best describe Manchester United. The Red Devils have continually sought stability, with their decision-makers failing to make the right calls to pave the way for sustained success at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement nearly a decade ago.
As a result, the Premier League heavyweights have constantly been seeking instant results, be it by appointing a certain manager or signing a certain player. One of the byproducts of this stance has been the arrival of Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan forward joined Manchester United as a surprise deadline day signing in the summer transfer window of 2020. And after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, Cavani was greeted with a lot of scepticism from all quarters.
The 35-year-old subsequently answered his naysayers emphatically last season, scoring crucial goals to help Manchester United clinch a top-four finish and reach the UEFA Europa League final. But Cristiano Ronaldo’s return and fitness woes have restricted Cavani to just 736 minutes of game-time across 15 appearances.
With his Manchester United contract winding down in the summer transfer window, Cavani looks set to depart Old Trafford as a free agent. And the veteran forward is keen on joining a La Liga club ahead of the 2022/23 season, as he wants to experience the Spanish top-flight after succeeding in Italy, France and England. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle looks at three potential destinations in La Liga for the 35-year-old striker.
The first club on our list features a team that has been falling into similar ways as Manchester United. And like Manchester United, joining Barcelona is a source of pride for many players despite the Catalan club’s struggles in the last couple of seasons.
The Blaugrana had been keen on signing Cavani in the January transfer window before Ralf Rangnick intervened to keep him at Old Trafford. After failing to land Cavani, Barcelona secured the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has taken Camp Nou by storm in his first month at the club.
But Barcelona will likely enter the transfer market for another striker in the summer. That is because Martin Braithwaite is expected to depart Camp Nou in the summer transfer window, while Luuk de Jong will return to Sevilla at the end of his loan deal.
With there being little certainty about signing de Jong permanently in the summer transfer window, Barcelona will need to sign a striker who can share the workload with Aubameyang. And while Erling Haaland is Barcelona’s priority target, signing the Norwegian striker could be a tall order amid intense competition for his signature.
Cavani could thus be a solid fallback option for Barcelona if they seek a short-term solution for the attacking unit. The Manchester United striker is reportedly keen on joining Barcelona this coming summer, and there is a high chance that things could fall in place for the Blaugrana.
Like Barcelona, Sevilla might need to seek a short-term solution in the final third to take the next step of challenging for the La Liga title. And Los Nervionenses were also heavily linked with Cavani ahead of the January transfer window before they ended up signing another Manchester United forward in Anthony Martial.
But Martial will return to Manchester United in the summer transfer window as his loan deal does not give Sevilla the option of signing him permanently. The Andalusian club will thus need to set sights on an alternative.
Recent reports have also claimed that Youssef En-Nesyri is facing an uncertain future at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. And Cavani could be the ideal player to play alongside the impressive Rafa Mir, who could even learn the ropes from the Uruguayan forward.
With Sevilla becoming top-four regulars in La Liga, they will need to do very little to convince Cavani of their suitability. And with Barcelona targetting other players, Sevilla might have a good chance of storming through to take the lead in the race to sign the 35-year-old in a Bosman move when he leaves Manchester United.
The final club on our list is another prestigious club that could be seeking a short-term solution in the attacking third. We are, of course, talking about Atletico Madrid, who will be undergoing a rebuild project in the summer transfer window after what has been a testing 2021/22 campaign.
The Colchoneros have made a meal of their La Liga title defence, with injuries and poor form of key players being crucial factors in their struggles. And the fact that Luis Suarez is approaching the end of his contract will not be lost on Diego Simeone, whose own future is up in the air at the moment.
Talented forwards like Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha are already on board at the Wanda Metropolitano but have struggled for consistency. In addition, Angel Correa has arguably been Atletico Madrid’s best player this season, meaning Simeone already has plenty of attacking options at his disposal.
But signing someone like Cavani to replace Suarez will enable Atletico Madrid to have an experienced head who possesses a winning mentality. Cavani could thus be a solid short-term option for Los Rojiblancos to get a stable footing in the La Liga title race again before Cunha and Felix become ready to take European football by storm.