This summer’s transfer window is largely expected to bear witness to something of an unprecedented cull at Manchester United.
David Moyes will reportedly be gifted somewhere close to £200million in order to rebuild a squad which has failed on virtually all fronts since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and, naturally, the unwanted dregs will be washed out as a result. Out with the old, in with the new, if you like.
Robin van Persie, whilst being as far from an unwanted dreg as you can possibly get, is one of the names being linked with an exit from Old Trafford at the culmination of the current campaign, with a mooted return to Arsenal on the cards. It doesn’t take a footballing genius to see the danger inherent in that proposed sale.
It’s my opinion that if Moyes is even considering letting the Dutchman go, which isn’t altogether a ridiculous notion, then it must be on one condition; he can promise a player of similar quality coming the other way.
Let’s face it, when it comes to strikers who could be available as of the summer transfer window, and ones that can honestly claim parity with Van Persie, the options are limited. To my knowledge Edinson Cavani is the only striker around who fits the bill.
Valued at a rumoured £53million by Paris Saint-Germain, Cavani abilities and track record make him a suitable candidate to replace Van Persie, and there are a number of similarities to be drawn between the two in terms of their technique and prowess in front of goal.
As far as United’s interest in the Uruguayan goes, it’s plain for all to see. There’s a reason he’s cited as being one of the primary pieces of business the club are looking to undertake during their upcoming squad refurb. However what good will Cavani be in a team which already boasts Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata?
It’s a notion I simply can’t get my head around. Cavani is said to be unsettled at PSG because he’s been starved of time in his favoured central striking position due to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s dominance. This would infer that he’s only going to want a move to a club where he is guaranteed to be the go-to-guy. In the current climate United can’t offer him that.
However this is where we get to the crux of the matter. In my mind United shouldn’t be looking to sell Van Persie in order to bring in Cavani, they should be offering him as part of the deal in the first-place.
Despite kicking the hornet's nest in terms of the backlash it’s likely to stir from United fans, it’s a transfer that makes sense for all involved. PSG would undoubtedly be ready to take Van Persie on, and could easily tempt him into accepting one last lucrative pay day before he calls time on his career.
As for United, in an ideal world they would effectively be trading in an older model for a younger one, and minimising their outlay. One would assume that Van Persie’s inclusion in the deal would knock of some of the aforementioned £53million needed to land his 27-year-old counterpart.
Then of course there’s the benefit of not selling him to Arsenal. Though it’s something that the player himself will ultimately have the last say on, if United were to lose Van Persie to the French league it would be without fear of repercussions with regards to strengthening one of their closest rivals.
If the Red Devils are going to lose a key asset, they might as well spin in to work to their advantage.