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Edinson Cavani has signed a contract extension at Manchester United, as El Matador will be hanging around in the Premier League for a little longer.
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Cavani, 34, signed for United on an initial one-year contract last summer with an option of a year but it has seemed likely he would leave this summer.
But initial reports from Fabrizio Romano have been confirmed, as the Uruguayan superstar has agreed to extend his stay at United until the summer of 2022.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken at length in recent months about trying to convince Cavani to extend his stay at Old Trafford, and is delighted the veteran forward is sticking around.
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“I said when Edinson signed, that he would bring energy, power and leadership to this group and I haven’t been proved wrong, he has been everything I thought he would be and more,” Solskjaer said. “As coaches, we knew about his goalscoring record. However, it is his personality that has brought so much to this squad, he has a winning mentality and has an unequivocal attitude to everything he does.
“Edinson is one of the last to leave the training ground and sets the tone for the upcoming youngsters with his approach to his profession every single day. I have always wanted him to stay and experience the way our fans will respond to him as a player, and this means he will hopefully get that opportunity.”
Cavani added: “Over the season, I have developed a great affection for the club and everything that it represents. I feel a deep bond with my team-mates and the staff who work behind the scenes here. They give me extra motivation every day and I know that, together, we can achieve special things.
“From the very first moment that I arrived, I felt the confidence of the manager. As a player, this belief gives you the perfect opportunity to play your best football and I want to thank him for that. I have been touched with how much the supporters have wanted me to stay, and I will give everything to bring them happiness and joy with my performances on the field. I’ve not yet been able to play in front of the Old Trafford crowd and that is something that I cannot wait to do.”
What other options did he have?
The former Palermo, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain star was reportedly considering an offer from Boca Juniors to return to South America, but Cavani’s recent form may have changed his mind.
After a slow start to life in England (plus his complaints about an FA charge for a message he posted on social media which was deemed as being a racial slur by the English authorities) Cavani has scored eight goals in his last seven games for United and has played a key role in helping the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood develop their forward play.
That will be a big reason why Solskjaer wants him to stay but if Cavani stays fit, he has proven in recent months how clinical he still is in and around the box.
His movement is fantastic and even if Cavani isn’t able to make runs in-behind like he once did, United are getting a lot of quality crosses and passes into the box, and in the right areas, for him to finish off.
Cavani has scored 15 goals in 35 appearances this season and has five off the bench in the Premier League, equalling the club-record for most in a season set by Solskjaer and Javier Hernandez.
With fans back at Old Trafford for the end of this season and the Premier League planning to have full stadiums by the start of next season, Cavani celebrating in front of Manchester United fans seems like a very likely sight.