Cavani and Rooney - Manchester United's strike force for next season?
David Moyes appears to be ready to flex his muscles at Old Trafford and exert his authority at the club by using the much-vaunted summer overhaul of the squad to rid himself of Robin van Persie and create a new star-studded strike force by pairing Wayne Rooney with Uruguay's Edinson Cavani.
The United manager has endured a strained relationship with the striker brought in by predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the previous season. By wide acclaim, the goals netted by the Dutchman were a major factor in securing his club the title in what was a fairly lacklustre title race where united were simply the best of a poor crop of clubs. That said, this season has seen van Persie give a good impression of someone who was not expecting to be playing under Moyes this season, and looking every inch someone ill at ease with his situation. Comments along the lines of team-mates hurting his performance by running into his spaces will not endear to the other squad members either. Reports in the press over the weekend however suggest that Italian giants Juventus may be prepared to offer the Dutchman a way out.
Although United laid out some £24million for the player two summers ago, buying a player of that age was never going to be the sort of investment likely to generate anything but a loss when traded on and if a fee in the order of £15million or so can be agreed, Moyes may be more than likely to see the player moved on. Such a move may mean a little financial bargainnig as moving would deny the player access to a £10million 'loyalty' bonus which is part of his deal at the club, but negotiating on that could assuage any fears that the Turin club could not match the reported £180,000 per week that van Persie is paid at Old Trafford.
If this happens, United are thought to be lining up a massive bid for Cavani, a player who Moyes has apparently been monitoring all season. Although PSG may not be keen on letting Cavani go, it's entirely possible that the striker may be interested in pressing for a move. The oil-rich club are enjoying another successful season in Ligue 1 and seem destined to crowned champions once again. It is however inevitably true that the French league remains one of the less demanding of the European competitions, and aside from Champions' League games, there's really not the opportunity to prove yourself at the highest of club levels. Further, with the ample shadow of Zlaten Ibrahimovic as the 'main man' at the club, Cavani is always likely to be considered as 'the other striker' in the squad, rather than the main man. With this in mind, and the promise to build his strike for around Cavani by pairing him with Rooney, Moyes may be able to persuade the Uruguayan that moving to Manchester is right for him.
Should Moyes manage to pull of the deal, Cavani certainly has the physical attributes to be a success in the thud and blunder world of the Premier League. Strong and pacey, with an eye for goal, his 14 goals in less than two dozen games for PSG this season illustrates his worth as a goalscorer. He could be the ideal striker and with Rooney and Juan Mata to supply the ammunition, it could be a move that benefits all parties.
Many United fans may be reluctant to see van Persie leave, but should Moyes be able to push the deals through, it may just be the first true step on the way to making the squad his own, rather than a legacy from his predecessor.
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