Not a day has gone by this transfer window where Edinson Cavani’s name hasn’t been mentioned. Now a free agent after leaving PSG, the race for the star striker’s signature is heating up.
Edinson Cavani’s previous career destinations read like a wanderlust travel guide: Montevideo, Palermo, Naples, Paris. It’s the sort of career most professionals could only dream of. However, following the forward’s release from Paris Saint-Germain, he is now in search of a new challenge.
At 33 years-old, Cavani still has plenty to offer, and has been keeping himself in shape by practising ballet. “Soccer and dance are more similar than the world imagines,” he remarked last month. “When the performance begins, both football and dance require maximum concentration.”
Pirouettes aside, Cavani is eager to get back on the football pitch, with some of the world’s top clubs vying for his signature. Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus were linked with Cavani earlier on in the window, but after the signings of Carlos Vinícius and Álvaro Morata respectively, both now appear set to move forward without him. So, we profiled five clubs who may well still be in the race for the Uruguayan.
Many thought Atlético’s pursuit of a stiker came to an end earlier this year when they captured the signature of Luis Suárez, but fresh rumours have since emerged that PSG are interested in signing Diego Costa. Should that transfer go through, Atlético will be in need of a replacement, and there are few better options available than Cavani.
Diego Simeone has forged a steely reputation in Spain for his roughhouse tactics, leading to numerous jokes about the prospect of two of the game’s biggest villains, Suárez and Costa, partnering each other up front. Cavani may possess the physically imposing frame of Costa, but he would bring more technique and guile to Simeone’s side, freeing up Suárez to get on with the shithousing.
Over on the other side of Madrid, Los Blancos are yet to make a signing this window, with many speculating they may go even without one for the first time in 30 years. Whether they do or don’t dip their toes into the market will largely hinge on whether they can shift troubled Serbian striker Luka Jović off their books.
Jović has been a problem for Real since signing last summer, with two goals to his name and a string of misdemeanours — not least when he flouted Serbia’s COVID regulations. If a loan move was to materialise for Jović, it’s likely Real will look to bring in someone of Cavani’s profile to ease the load on Karim Benzema up front.
It just wouldn’t feel like a summer transfer window with United making a last ditch attempt to sign a striker, would it? After flirting with winger Jadon Sancho all summer to no avail, it now appears the Red Devils’ focus has shifted towards Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé.
Up front, United have been fiercely linked with re-signing Josh King from Bournemouth. Cavani would represent a significant upgrade on King, and comes with the global brand appeal Ed Woodward and co. so desperately crave. Cavani’s wage demands may well be a stumbling block, but he’ll struggle to find a bigger club where he has the potential of being the first-choice striker.
The Lisbon giants have made waves over the summer, re-appointing Jorge Jesus as head coach and signing a number of stars, including Brazilian attacking midfielder Éverton and ex-Premier League defenders Jan Vertonghen and Nicolás Otamendi.
It’s the aforementioned sale of star striker Carlos Vinícius, though, that has left Benfica scrambling. Replacing his 18 league goals is no mean feat, however, wage bill permitting, Cavani would be more than capable of filling the void. Now in the twilight of his career, a move to the Estádio da Luz would represent a nice chance to pick up some major silverware before retirement.
Turkey always seems to be a potential destination for top ageing footballers, and things are no different when it comes to Cavani. The striker reportedly rejected an initial offer from Fenerbahçe last month, worth around €5m/year, but the rumours are that they remain interested in the forward.
The club are unlikely to match Cavani’s initial demands of €12m/year — and unless he fancies a move to China, we doubt many will — but there’s still hope an agreement can be struck. Fellow countryman Mauricio Lemos is currently plying his trade for Fenerbahçe, but it appears that alone won’t be enough to swing a deal in the Turks’ favour.
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