Manchester United FC

When Manchester United will make a decision on Edinson Cavani's contract

Robbie Copeland
Feb 26, 2021, 4:00 PM GMT
Cavani's United future is up in the air
Cavani's United future is up in the air | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Manchester United are waiting on Edinson Cavani to fully recover from injury before deciding on his future at the club.

The Uruguayan signed on a free transfer in the summer on an initial one-year deal, with the option to extend it by a further season at the club's discretion.

It hasn't all been plain sailing for the striker in Manchester - in December, he was suspended by the FA for a controversial Instagram comment, while a number of minor injury problems have interrupted his involvement - however, the deal has largely been seen as a success.

Cavani has scored six times in the Premier League despite managing just eight starts so far, and he has provided valuable established cover for the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

His initial one-year contract is due to expire in the summer, and a report from ESPN says United are yet to decide whether to keep him on or allow him to leave and free up his substantial salary. They want to wait until he fully recovers from the injury that kept him out of both legs against Real Sociedad, and then decide whether he has a role to play beyond 2020/21.

Curiously, it's reported that should United decide against extending his stay, they would have to pay a £2m break clause that was negotiated into the terms of his deal back in the summer. The clause is there to protect Cavani's interests: he committed to moving his family to a rented a house in Cheshire and doesn't want to be left high and dry should the club decide to move on.

£2m equates to around ten weeks' salary, so it's obviously a cheaper option than keeping him on, should United decide to part ways.

If we take ESPN report at face value, then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's update that he could be back in action this Sunday against Chelsea suggests that a decision on his future is pretty much imminent.

Solskjaer told BT Sport on Thursday: "We will have to check on Dan James tonight. Scott, Donny, Edinson we hope they can be available for the weekend. Paul is still out for a few weeks."

Given he has settled in fairly quickly, it seems likely that United will opt to keep him rather than source a replacement in the summer. But you can never say never - especially with with the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic being felt in force.