Solskjaer hoping Cavani will opt for another year at United
Uruguayan striker has impressed since joining on free transfer from PSG in October
Edinson Cavani of Manchester United is challenged by Kyle Bartley of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between West Brom and United at The Hawthorns on February 14th. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images
The 34-year-old striker has impressed on and off the pitch since joining on a free transfer in October, when Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time top scorer signed a one-season deal with the option to extend by a further year.
Cavani has scored seven goals in 24 appearances for United, and Solskjaer has made no secret of his hopes to keep the Uruguay international at Old Trafford.
Last week the United boss told Sky Sports that “the better we play, the better he plays, the better he feels, the more he feels important [and] hopefully we can make sure that he stays on and scores many more goals for us”.
Asked on Thursday if it was likely that Cavani will end up staying that extra year, Solskjaer said: “I can only say Edinson has done well.
“I’ve been impressed by him. He’s really gelled in the group and we’ll sit down with him and speak with him of course in the near future to see his plans and our plans.
“It’s a good discussion to [have]. We always speak to the players and with his contract situation at the moment we’re very pleased with what he’s done.”
Cavani went seven months without playing a match before joining United as the curtailment of the Ligue 1 season in April due to Covid-19 was followed by the expiration of his contract at PSG.
The 34-year-old has shown few signs of rust and has been available for most matches, although he was ruled out of Thursday’s impressive 4-0 win against Real Sociedad in the Europa League with a knock.
Cavani and Donny van de Beek missed the round-of-32 first leg in Turin through muscle complaints, which Solskjaer hopes will not keep them out of Sunday’s return to Premier League action against struggling Newcastle.
“Of course Paul [Pogba] is out. Phil [Jones] is out,” Solskjaer said. “I don’t know how Scott [McTominay] is. And I’m not sure how Edinson and Donny will be either. They’ve got a chance I think.
“We’ve just got to give them until before training on Saturday because Saturday we need to pick a team, so we’ll see how they are. Hopefully they can both be available.”
Solskjaer was impressed by the way his players got back to winning ways in Turin following last Sunday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at embattled West Brom.
That result took their poor Premier League run to one win in five matches, allowing Manchester City to build what many consider an unassailable lead at the top.
Second-placed United could be 13 points behind Pep Guardiola’s men come kick-off on Sunday, but Solskjaer is not focusing too much on their rivals.
“I don’t think anyone would say they’re not going to go for it,” he said. “We’re going to go for a win every single game we play. Of course we are.
“But whatever other teams do – City, Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea, Tottenham, whoever, West Brom – we can’t control.We’ve just got to control ourselves. We are in the position we are, we are second and, of course, your ambition then is to not end any lower than that.
“We’re going to have to get a good run together if we’re going to put pressure on City and it should start on Sunday, of course.
“We can’t hide the fact that we have dropped off our form a bit the last few weeks. We dropped points against Everton, Sheff United, West Brom – points that we feel we deserved more and we should have got more.
“Tonight was about finding ourselves, tonight was about getting the X factor back in, the brightness and the focus, so Newcastle will be a very important game for us. Definitely.”