Man Utd face Edinson Cavani dilemma as Barcelona make U-turn on top January target

Rangnick comments on Martial's Man Utd future amid exit talk

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Manchester United are seemingly at a crossroads over whether to sell Edinson Cavani. The Old Trafford fan favourite has been heavily linked with a January move to Barcelona, but the La Liga outfit have reportedly turned their attention to a new number one transfer target, leaving United with a decision to make.

The Uruguayan forward returned to Premier League action for the Red Devils on Monday night, coming off the bench to net a crucial equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

The strike was only Cavani’s second goal for United this season as injuries and increased competition for places have hampered the 34-year-old’s campaign thus far.

A January move away has been touted with both Corinthians and Barcelona linked, but it appears as though the latter may not follow up their interest as manager Xavi has identified a new centre forward target.

According to AS, Barcelona have prioritised former Chelsea and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as the number one candidate to resolve their attacking woes.

The news will leave Manchester United with a decision to make as they ponder whether to keep Cavani for the final six months of his contract or up their attempts to offload the forward in January.

Despite Morata heading Barcelona’s transfer wishlist, reports in Spain suggest the Old Trafford fan favourite still remains an option.

The La Liga giants have, however, reportedly opened discussions with Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid, though a deal is considered complicated as the Spaniard is currently on loan Juventus and has a rich history with arch-rivals Real.

The 29-year-old is believed to be keen to cut short his loan spell in Turin and a termination appears mutually beneficial as the Old Lady supposedly consider deals for Marseille’s Arkadiusz Milik and Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca.

The cash-strapped Catalan club announced the signing of Manchester City’s Ferran Torres for an initial £46.7m early this week but are reportedly keen to further bolster their forward line with a central striker, amid a number of attacking issues.

Memphis Depay’s future appears in doubt, Luuk de Jong has flopped since joining on loan from Sevilla on deadline day and Sergio Aguero has been forced into an early retirement following heart complications.

United, on the other hand, appear overloaded in attack, despite their wealth of forward options only having fired the Red Devils to seventh in the Premier League table at present.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and, for now, Anthony Martial, have all been competing with Cavani for a spot in attack, leading the suggestions the latter may end his time in Manchester six months earlier than planned.

If United manager Ralf Rangnick’s comments are anything to go by following Cavani’s impact against Newcastle on Monday, the Uruguayan may not be going anywhere, as the German heaped praised on the Barcelona-linked forward.

“Obviously, we were one goal behind so we needed a goal and we had to take more risks so we brought Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho on to play in a 4-1-3-2,” he said.

“In some situations, including the goal we scored, we were good.

“Edinson has two other good chances to score and with him we had another striker who was dangerous in front of goal.”
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