Manchester United are still in the hunt for a striker and hope to sign one before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday.
Transfer guru Gianluca di Marzio claims that the Red Devils have a shortlist of two exciting centre-forwards, Uruguay international Edinson Cavani, who is currently a free agent, and Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic.
‘Having taken Van de Beek from Ajax in midfield, Manchester United are looking for a striker to reinforce the attacking department,’ Di Marzio said.
‘Contacts in progress with Edinson Cavani, released from Paris Saint Germain and very close to Benfica in recent weeks.
‘Also asked Jovic to Real Madrid. The ballot is open.
‘The management of the English club will try to sign one of the two players in the last week of negotiations.’
Cavani looked set to move to Benfica a couple of weeks ago but his contract demands of a €10 million per annum salary over 3 years (equivalent to £175,000 per week) ultimately couldn’t be met by the Portuguese side. Negotiations with both Gremio and Atletico Madrid then also fell through.
Jovic would be expected to join on a loan agreement with Real Madrid and it may be that United would want an option to buy. However, Real will be reluctant to agree to such a clause and the danger is that United end up with another deal with los Blancos that collapses due to buyout or buyback clauses.
Of the two options, Cavani would be more of a gamble. On the one hand, United would be signing a world-class proven talent who could hit the ground running, but on the other, it is uncertain at age 33 how long the Uruguayan can continue to perform at the top level and how he would fit in with the young and tight-knit squad that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is trying to build.