Manchester United must replace Van Persie with £53m star

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It’s now a week on from the initial reports claiming that Robin van Persie would welcome a move back to Arsenal, and rumours about the Dutchman’s unhappiness at Manchester United refuse to cease.

The 30-year-old reportedly has an “uneasy relationship” with manager David Moyes - and, in truth, it’s not difficult to believe that’s the case judging by his unusual demeanour on the pitch this season.

Now it’s claimed that Arsene Wenger, who earlier this week refused to rule out the possibility of re-signing Van Persie in the future, even met with the striker’s agent last month to discuss a potential return to the Emirates Stadium.

The old saying that there’s no smoke without fire can, of course, be nonsense. However, when there’s this much smoke, are we to truly believe that the relationship between Van Persie and Manchester United is as perfect as last season?

Ironically, considering he was only at Old Trafford for one season under the legendary Scot, Van Persie appears to have been more affected by the shock departure of Sir Alex Ferguson than any other player in the squad.

After all, he signed for Ferguson. A world-class player working under a world-class manager yielded instant rewards.

But it was also true that, at the age of 29, Manchester United did not spend £24m on Van Persie with the long-term future in mind.

This was a blatant attempt to instantly make amends for May 2012 - Sergio Aguero in the 94th minute and all that - by buying the league’s best player, at his peak, and going all out for title No. 20.

It worked better than even Ferguson could have envisaged. But the Scot knew full well, when he set sail into the sunset at the end of last season, that Van Persie would never enjoy a better campaign in terms of his own individual contribution.

After spending so much of his career on the sidelines, it was inevitable that Van Persie would suffer injury problems during the latter stages of his career.

And the Netherlands international has been forced to sit out a handful of matches this term, to Manchester United’s expense.

The fact is, that for all of his quality and heroics last season, Robin van Persie is now on the wrong side of 30 and in the early stages of decline, with a checkered injury record and a difficult relationship with the current manager.

And as Moyes will have millions to spend in the summer - up to £200m, according to some reports - it makes perfect sense for the United boss to bring in a younger, hungrier goalscorer who can guarantee you both games and goals.

Step forward, Edinson Cavani.

The 26-year-old is a proper goalscorer who netted 33, 33 and 38 goals in his three seasons with Napoli before joining Paris Saint-Germain for £53m last summer.

The Uruguay international has managed to score 20 goals in 29 matches this season despite the fact he’s been played out of position for most of this season - much to his frustration - so just imagine how much damage he could cause in the centre-forward role at Old Trafford.

This is a 25+-goal-a-season striker who would thrive in a team containing the likes of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj.

PSG’s No. 9 must become Manchester United’s new No. 7 this summer.

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Edinson Cavani
Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Manchester United

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