Man Utd could recreate Edinson Cavani problem if they agree Barcelona swap deal

Ralf Rangnick praises reaction of Man Utd after Burnley win

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Manchester United could sign up for more of the same problems if they follow through on a reported swap deal with Barcelona involving Anthony Martial and Ousmane Dembele. While boss Ralf Rangnick acknowledged the importance of Edinson Cavani this week, his injury record at Old Trafford has been poor, a trait shared with Barca’s seemingly outgoing Frenchman. 

Talks over Dembele’s prospective contract renewal have made headlines in Catalonia for the past few months. 

The club are supposedly waiting for his final decision, although it is believed that they were not able to meet his wage demands due to ongoing financial constraints. 

That will be music to the ears of interested parties, of which there are many regarding the star Barca shelled out £97million for in 2017. 

Barcelona transfer chief Mateu Alemany also spoke about the need to shift players off the wage bill before new arrivals Ferran Torres and Dani Alves can be signed up without FFP ramifications. 

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A mutually beneficial solution was proposed by Catalan outlet Ara, who claim that Xavi and co. are exploring the option of a swap deal involving Dembele and Martial. 

Both players have struggled for regular game time in recent seasons, but Martial could be of use to Barca if he agrees to a lower wage package than his compatriot. 

United may be wise to think twice in this situation, however, which could see them landed with another high-earning, injury-prone star. 

The same is true for Cavani, an experienced veteran who contributes admirably when fit, but the Uruguayan has missed more than 30 matches through illness or injury since his arrival from PSG in 2020. 

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Dembele’s record is even worse, missing a whopping 104 games since joining Barca from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, with issues primarily involving his hamstring and his knee. 

The 24-year-old has only appeared in 126 games across the same time period, meaning he has almost sat out as many matches as he has played in. 

While following through with the swap deal could constitute bad business for the Red Devils, at least where wages and injuries are concerned, it is not to say that it would only produce negative results. 

Cavani is a case in point, and Rangnick spoke glowingly of the 34-year-old this week due to what he brings to the side when available. 

“We have had quite a few conversations over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“I told him from the very first day he is a highly important player, he is probably the only one who can play as a striker [with his] back to goal.

“His professionalism and his work ethic is just amazing. I told him I desperately want him to stay and stay until the end of the season, and he knows that.

“He also knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him.”

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