Solskjaer keen for Cavani to stay

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April 30, 2021
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    Edinson CavaniEdinson Cavani scored twice in Manchester United's 6-2 win over Roma

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants forward Edinson Cavani to stay at the club for another season.

    The Uruguay international joined United on a one-year deal in October, with the option of an additional 12 months.

    However, the 34-year-old is undecided about whether to remain in England after a difficult first year.

    He initially had to spend time in isolation and then got banned for three matches by the Football Association for a social media post.

    The post was deemed offensive even if it was accepted Cavani had not been intentionally racist.

    Argentina's Boca Juniors are known to be keen to bring Cavani back to South America.

    But after he scored twice and secured three assists in United's 6-2 Europa League semi-final first-leg victory over Roma, Solskjaer says he is trying hard to keep Cavani at the club.

    "He knows my feelings," said Solskjaer. "He knows I would love to have him here.

    "Edinson is more than just a goal poacher. He is excellent at running the channels, being the focal point and bringing others into play.

    "He is making up for lost time and I am delighted with him. Hopefully we will see him here for another year. I am doing my best. I promised him Old Trafford is a different place with fans.

    "He must try to get that feeling, to be on our side. Manchester is a fantastic place to live. Of course nights like this, hopefully we can get to the final and hopefully he can see himself being here for another year.""

    Cavani might have had his first United hat-trick, but skied an easier chance over than the one that resulted in the brilliant curling shot that brought the hosts level at the start of the second half.

    As it is, Cavani has scored 12 goals this season, a tally exceeded only by Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.

    And, with five in his past five games, he is coming into form at just the right time.

    Analysis

    BBC Sport's Simon Stone

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    Although Manchester United are due to play one home game in front of 10,000 supporters before the end of the season, it would be a shame if Cavani never got to properly sample the English experience.

    On the other side, it would also be a shame if England never got to fully experience Cavani.

    In snatches, he has shown what an outstanding player he is – and what a teacher he could be for Rashford and Mason Greenwood even though he doesn't speak much English.

    Because of coronavirus rules, injury and suspension, Cavani has not built up a regular run of appearances to make the kind of sustained impact he is evidently capable of.

    Little wonder Solskjaer wants him to stay. The problem is, time is running out to convince Cavani not to abandon life in England just yet.

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