Manchester United have completed the signing of striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer, the club announced on Monday. Cavani has signed a two-year deal at Old Trafford, while both the club and player have the option to break the agreement after one year.
The move comes a day after the club’s humiliating 6-1 defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League.
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Cavani had been a free agent following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season after seven years at the club. United turned down the chance to sign him in January after being put off by his wage demands of £360,000-a-week. After leaving PSG, he had been offered to a string of top European clubs before United stepped up their interest last week.
🐂 El Matador has arrived.
Old Trafford is waiting for you, @ECavaniOfficial! 🏟#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 5, 2020
United are next in action away at Newcastle on Oct. 17 and Cavani has the chance to face former club PSG in the Champions League three days later.
“Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here. I’ve worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club,” Cavani said a statement released by the club.
“I have played in front of some of the most passionate supporters in football during my career and I know that it will be the same in Manchester. I cannot wait to experience the Old Trafford atmosphere, when it is safe for the fans to return.
“I look forward to continuing to write my little story inside the book of football and I know that’s why my focus has to remain the same as always — work, work, work. I have had a conversation with the manager and this has increased my desire to wear this beautiful shirt.”
The 33-year-old arrives with a big pedigree as PSG’s all-time record scorer with 200 goals in 301 appearances and six Ligue 1 titles among a haul of 19 trophies at the club. With 50 goals in 116 caps for Uruguay, Cavani also won the 2011 Copa America with his country.
Sources told ESPN his wages will be significantly lower than his demands in January and the agent fees involved in the deal will be lower than €10 million. Sources added United do not have concerns about Cavani’s age and hope he will be able to have a similar impact to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 17 Premier League goals in 33 games after joining in 2016, and will provide extra cover once Odion Ighalo’s loan ends in January.
Cavani’s arrival on deadline day is the latest twist in what has been a tumultuous summer of transfer activity at United. Jadon Sancho had been the club’s No. 1 target but Borussia Dortmund have remained firm in their insistence that he would not be sold. Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona and Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos were also considered.
The club also confirmed the deadline day signing of left-back Alex Telles from Porto. Sources told ESPN on Sunday the defender agreed a move to United for £13.6m.
United also parted ways with Chris Smalling, permanently sending the defender back to AS Roma after he had spent last season there on loan.