Last Tuesday, Edinson Cavani ascended Paris Saint-Germain’s very own Mount Olympus by pouncing on Di Maria’s delightfully weighted pass and drilling the ball between the legs of Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois to hand the Qatari-owned outfit a neat 2-1 victory in the Champions League’s round of sixteen. PSG’s Greek dreams of conquering Europe remain very much alive.
Yet the sweet strike hasn’t halted the maelstrom of rumors surrounding the Uruguayan’s future in the French capital. Cavani is increasingly linked to a move to Spanish giant Real Madrid or English powerhouse Manchester United.
Cavani joined PSG’s jolly bunch of A-listers and superstars in 2013 from Napoli in search of riches and sporting glory in a deal reportedly worth $71 million, but the striker failed to live up to his enormous price tag and struggled to replicate his Serie A form. He was no longer the strong and prolific attacker who had been a scourge for Italian defenders.
Though statistics suggest his sojourn in Paris hasn’t been that dreary, scoring 25 goals in his first season and 31 goals in the subsequent season. But Cavani remains frustrated: he has been reduced to a sideshow of Paris’s grand patron Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Uruguay international has often been banished from a central role to accommodate the Swede. Cavani can’t excel in his peripheral role on the wings.
Cavani’s exasperation leads to speculation that his adventure with Laurent Blanc and co. might soon come to an end. “I would like to see him playing for Real Madrid, Manchester United or Juventus,” said Luis Cavani, Edinson’s father and agent, to Israeli TV broadcaster Sport 5.
Cavani has been linked to Manchester United in the past, but the club from north England is hardly an enticing proposition at the moment. Louis Van Gaal’s reign has turned into a funeral procession. Manchester United sits in fifth place in the Premier League with the prospect of Champions League soccer all but gone. At boardroom level, Ed Woodward has not overseen the successful arrival of any of his marquees’ signings.
Real Madrid represents a fascinating destination, but not without its pitfalls. The club is prone to volatility and its stars have egos to match. Cavani would be competing with Benzema as a top 9, hardly a gift.
Rumors are just rumors. They should be taken with a pinch of salt in the world of elite soccer, but Cavani’s simmering resentment is clear for all to see. Zlatan’s PSG departure is scripted for this summer and that may present the Uruguayan with a chance to cement his claims for a central attacking role. In fact, he might already have done that with his outstanding goal against Chelsea.