Manchester United complete signing of 33 year-old Edinson Cavani
Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguyan forward Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Lille on April 25, 2015 at the Parc des Princes in Paris. AFP PHOTO

Manchester United have signed former Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani on a free transfer with the Uruguay international penning a one-year deal, with an option to extend for a further 12 months, the Premier League club said on Monday.

United’s humiliating 6-1 defeat at home by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday had increased the pressure on chief executive Ed Woodward to give manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some new options.

Cavani becomes United’s fourth signing of the close season after the Old Trafford club signed midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax Amsterdam and left back Alex Telles from Porto and Ivorian winger Amad Diallo from Atalanta.

Cavani, who left Ligue 1 champions PSG after his contract expired last season, is the French club’s most prolific scorer with 200 goals but has not played since March — prior to the league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 33-year-old did not feature in PSG’s run to the Champions League final either when the tournament restarted in August after media reports said he declined to sign a short-term contract extension in June.

“Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here,” Cavani, who has scored 50 times in 116 appearances for Uruguay, told the club’s website https://www.manutd.com/en/news/detail/man-utd-confirms-the-signing-of-former-psg-striker-edinson-cavani.

“I’ve worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club.”

PROVEN GOALSCORER

Cavani’s signing comes after United’s interest in Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho did not bear any fruit this year, with the German club refusing to part with the highly-rated England international.

However, Cavani offers United a different option up front in attack compared to Anthony Martial and the club will hope he can provide a springboard like his ex-PSG strike partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic did when he arrived in 2016.

Ibrahimovic, who also moved on a free transfer at the age of 34, scored 28 goals and provided 10 assists in his debut season with United, leading the club to the League Cup and Europa League.

Cavani’s arrival will also be seen as United covering their bases with Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo set to return to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua when his loan ends in January.

“His goalscoring record for club and country is fantastic and we are delighted to sign a player of his calibre,” Solskjaer said.

“He’ll bring energy, power, leadership and a great mentality to the squad but, most importantly, he’ll bring goals.

“He has had a brilliant career so far, winning trophies at almost every club he has played for, and he still has so much more to give at the highest level.”

United are 16th in the standings with a game in hand heading into the international break.

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