Manchester United are ready to sell Robin van Persie at the end of the season, and hope to replace the ageing Dutch striker with Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.
This is according to the Mirror, who understand United boss Louis van Gaal is now ready to listen to offers for the 31-year-old forward whose form has deteriorated since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
Van Persie’s current contract expires in the summer of 2016 - and rather than allowing him to leave on a free transfer, United hope to cash in on the former Arsenal captain before the start of the 2015-16 season.
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Van Gaal makes crucial decision over Van Persie
It’s no secret that Van Persie and Van Gaal have an excellent working relationship - stemming back to their time working together with the Netherlands national team - but the veteran Dutch coach is now prepared to ditch United’s No. 20 for the good of the team.
The Red Devils have produced their best performances of the season without Van Persie, who has scored 10 goals in 26 appearances this term, and it appears Van Gaal has finally realised his close friend no longer has a future at Old Trafford.
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Van Persie is in steep decline
Van Gaal has offered Van Persie plenty of opportunities to shine this term - starting him in every Premier League match he’s been available to feature - but the striker has looked a shadow of the player who won back-to-back Golden Boot awards in 2012 and 2013.
Whether Van Persie would be prepared to join a club lower down the Premier League table is doubtful. Despite his struggles over the past two seasons, the Dutch striker would surely reject any club not competing in the Champions League.
Furthermore, his huge wage demands would also be an issue for any club not competing in Europe’s elite club cup competition.
Doubts over Cavani's suitability
Cavani, 28, is reportedly at the top of Van Gaal’s list of potential replacements - but is the Uruguay international really the right man to replace Van Persie at Old Trafford?
This is a player who has struggled, at times, since joining PSG from Napoli in 2013 - although it must be noted that the South American striker has often been played out of position, on the wings, in order to accommodate the huge personality that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Cavani, who has also been linked with Arsenal, is a proper goalscorer - having netted 43 goals in 82 games at the Parc des Princes despite his frustrations - but the fact he turns 29 in February ought to be a concern for the Red Devils.
United signed Van Persie at the same age and managed to get one good year out of him, and there’s a real danger that Cavani would also only be a short-term solution.
United fans: should Van Gaal replace Van Persie with Cavani this summer? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!