United boss ‘desperately’ wants Cavani to stay


Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has told striker Edinson Cavani he does not want him to leave the Premier League club in January.

Cavani, 34, has been linked with moves to Barcelona and several clubs in South America, but Rangnick is adamant the Uruguay international is going nowhere.

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“We had quite a few conversations in the last couple of weeks, probably the player with whom I have spoken most,” Rangnick said. “I told him from the very first day that, for me, he is a highly important player.

“And, as I said, his professionalism, his work ethic is just amazing and I told him that I desperately want him to stay until the end of the season. He knows that. He also knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him. We spoke and he knows that I will definitely not let him go.

“For me, he is a highly important player for the rest of the season, still playing in three competitions, so we will definitely need Edi. I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it’s clear that Edi has to stay.”

Donny van de Beek is another player who has been linked with a move in January after again struggling for first team opportunities this season.

The midfielder, signed from Ajax for £40 million in 2020, made just four league starts last season and has started just four games in all competitions so far this term. But Rangnick says that, like Cavani, the Netherlands international is set to stay.

“He’s a team player through and through and there will be games where he will get his chance to play I’m sure,” Rangnick said. “I also had a longer conversation with him last week about that and, again, of course it’s difficult for him right now because he also wants to play for the Dutch national team.

“He wants to qualify for himself and play in the World Cup in Qatar and in order to do that he needs to get game time here. But I still believe that we should keep him, that he should stay here, definitely until the end of this season and try to get as much game-time as he possibly can.”

Anthony Martial, meanwhile, may get his wish to leave but only if United receive a loan offer which covers his entire wage and includes a loan fee. An offer from Sevilla which only covered a portion of the Frenchman’s wage has already been rejected by United.

Martial was left out of the squad for games against Newcastle and Burnley and Rangnick has revealed he was omitted because of the uncertainty surrounding his future.

“He made it very clear that he wants to leave and, in a way, I can understand his wish to leave and to try to play more regularly somewhere else,” Rangnick said. “But, again, it’s a question not only of what he wants to do but it’s also a question of which kind of clubs are interested in him and do they meet the demands of the club, so we have to wait and see.

“He is not injured currently so I decided to go for this group of players that were in the squad today, so it had nothing to do with injuries.”

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