Edinson Cavani signs one-year contract extension with Manchester United
Uruguay strikes turns down opportunity with Boca Juniors
Edinson Cavani has signed a new deal with Manchester United. Photograph: Paul ELLIS/AFP
Edinson Cavani has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United after rejecting an opportunity to return to South America with Boca Juniors.
The Uruguay international (34) scored his 15th goal for United since joining on a free transfer last summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side made sure of a place in next season’s Champions League by beating Aston Villa on Sunday.
Cavani, who also found the net four times over two legs in United’s Europa League semi-final win against Roma, has been in negotiations about extending his stay at Old Trafford for some time having initially signed a one-year deal after leaving Paris Saint-Germain last year.
But despite the offer of a two-year contract with Argentinian side Boca, Cavani has decided to remain in the Premier League for another season having grown in influence in recent months. It is understood that Solskjaer and United’s board were keen to retain a player who has contributed nine goals from just 11 league starts.
Cavani is believed to have already signed his new deal, which it is believed will be the same salary as last year, ahead of United’s home game against Leicester on Tuesday.
Having begun his career with Danubio in his homeland, he moved to Europe to join Palermo in 2007 before moving to Napoli and then PSG, where he scored 138 goals in 200 appearances.
Meanwhile, Solskjær insists he will not risk the welfare of his Manchester United players as they prepare for the second of three Premier League fixtures in five days, hinting players such as Shola Shoretire and Amad Diallo could come into the reckoning for Tuesday’s meeting with Leicester.
United’s victory at Aston Villa on Sunday, coupled with West Ham’s defeat to Everton, ensured back-to-back top four finishes for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. The Premier League title race is also still technically alive for United, but with Manchester City needing just one more win to secure the league, plus a Europa League final against Villarreal this month to prepare for, Solskjær admits it is unlikely he will remain consistent with his team selection.
“I wish I could have said that we’d go all out in these games, but it’s impossible,” he said. “I know that if I play the same team on Tuesday and Thursday, I run too much a risk of injuring them. We talk about integrity of the league all the time, but don’t blame me when I have to make changes. It’s not safe to keep playing them.”
When asked if that could result in first Premier League starts for Shoretire and Diallo, Solskjær said: “They’re in contention, definitely. They’re training with us every day. Some of the young boys will definitely get an appearance. Whether it’s starting or coming on at the end, I don’t know, because I don’t know what team we’ll pick until I see the players on Tuesday.
“We’ll sit down with the sports scientists and work out what we’ll do. We could have a theoretical team now, but we have to see how they react when they come into the building on Tuesday, and then we can pick a team on Tuesday afternoon.”
Solskjær also reserved praise for Mason Greenwood after he continued his fine recent form on Sunday. Greenwood’s goal against Villa was his fifth in his last five games, and also made him the highest-scoring teenager in United’s history, surpassing Wayne Rooney’s tally of 15.
“Mason is learning all the time, and he’s learning on the job,” Solskjær said. “He’s had to bear a lot of responsibility, but he’s popping up with important goals for us. He’s certainly got something special. The kid just turns a game around in one split second, and his goal on Sunday was excellent. I’m delighted he’s back to his goal-scoring best.” – Guardian