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Edinson Cavani is still undecided over whether or not to sign a new contract at Manchester United amid links to Boca Juniors, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said. Cavani’s current Old Trafford deal expires in June and at present he is primed to leave the club as a free agent at the end of the season.
The 34-year-old has been a valuable squad player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in 28 appearances.
But fitness problems have prevented the veteran striker, who joined on a free after leaving Paris Saint-Germain last summer, from having an even greater impact.
The Uruguayan was also hit with a three-match ban from the FA for an alleged racially insensitive comment which did not sit well with the player and his national team.
Cavani’s father Luis came out last month to say: “My son does not feel comfortable in England and wants to be close to the family again. Edinson is going to end up playing in South America.
“Edinson had many conversations with Riquelme and he would like to play for Boca. He was always seduced by the idea of playing in Boca.”
United nonetheless remain keen to extend the centre-forward’s stay in Manchester by another year with Solskjaer having repeatedly spoken of the positive impact Cavani has had on the other forwards in his squad.
But Solskjaer admits Cavani is yet to inform United of his decision over his future with it looking increasingly likely he could quit the Red Devils after just 12 months at the club.
In the wake of a 2-0 win over Granada in the Europa League, Solskjaer explained: “I have kept in touch with Edi and we keep an open dialogue. He’s still unsure what he wants to do next season, which is fine.
“It has not been an easy year – either for him or the rest of the world so he still wants time to make his mind up.
“I’m very sure we will get the good version of Edinson for the rest of the season. He knows this is the business end of the season.
“We are fighting for the Europa League and we can see the end line in the league. There are only eight games left and you are thinking about where you are going to end up.
“He has been so positive around the place, he’s been great to have, he’s been working hard to get fit and hopefully we can keep him fit the next six or seven weeks.”
United’s former team-mate Marcos Rojo, who joined Boca in February, meanwhile told ESPN Argentina this week: “I talk a lot with Cavani.
“We were together for about four or five months in Manchester but he’s a great person and we have a good relationship.
“When I came here he asked how I was doing, if I was having a good time, because he saw everything I went through in England.
“It’s important that great players, the size of Cavani, who is a historical player from Uruguay and who played in very great teams, say they want to come and play at Boca.
“I think he speaks very well of the club and Argentine football. When I told him that there was the possibility of coming to Boca, he told me that he had also spoken with Roman and that he liked the option very much, that he would be interested in the future.
“He has to make that decision with his family.”
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If Cavani does leave, United will hope to replace him with the £130million-rated Erling Haaland, the Borussia Dortmund frontman who is their top transfer target this summer.
But Marcus Rashford will also be relied upon to provide the goals after hitting his 20th effort of the campaign against Granada in the Europa League on Thursday night.
The United academy graduate has now struck 20 goals in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first player to do so for the club since Wayne Rooney between 2008 and 2010 despite playing largely from the left-hand side.
Rashford has been battling a series of niggling injuries of late but Solskjaer is not concerned about the England international’s health and said: “I don’t think anyone needs to be concerned about his fitness, no – barring any injury. His fitness is very good.
“He is an athletic boy, a strong boy, he goes into headers and challenges, he can look after himself. But at one point, you hope to get into a position where he does not have to play every game, every minute.
“We had to take him off [against Granada] because his foot is a little bit sore. Hopefully, that will improve as the season goes on. I think he was better on Thursday than he was on Sunday.”
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