Edinson Cavani decision has unlocked Manchester United's perfect triple transfer plan

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has signed a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford. Manchester United have Edinson Cavani to ...

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has signed a one-year contract extension at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have Edinson Cavani to thank for giving them breathing space in their attempts to bridge the gap on neighbours Manchester City.

It's been a season of progression at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer building on his first two years in charge by reaching this month's Europa League final. A first shot at silverware.

Despite that relentless march to the Polish city of Gdansk - and the fact United have been sitting second for quite some time in the Premier League - there has been a constant 'distraction' at the club.

That is not to pick out Cavani and his individual situation, as such. But the reality is, his decision - one way or another - was always likely to have a bigger impact than simply who is wearing United's famous number seven shirt next term.

Even at 34, the Uruguayan remains sharp in and around the penalty area. Once again, though, his decision to stay is about so much more than his impressive tally of nine Premier League goals in 11 starts, and eight goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions.

As question marks over his future lingered, United earmarked Erling Haaland as their priority striker target, while they are also long-time admirers of Tottenham marksman Harry Kane.

Both of those players would command transfer fees of over £100million this year, but United can now reassess their options, and priorities, as key figures responsible for incomings and outgoings at Old Trafford prepare to get down to business.

Cavani, the emergence of Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial give Solskjaer plenty of options centrally, while Marcus Rashford has also operated there occasionally.

Depending on how the market plays out this summer, in the midst of financial complications brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the club can readdress their pursuit of a 'world class' striker at the end of next season instead, and ramp up their search in other positions; namely centre-back, another defensive midfielder and the right flank.

Real Madrid are open to the prospect of selling World Cup winner Raphael Varane to United, while Dortmund have reportedly slashed their asking price on Haaland's teammate, and long-term target, Jadon Sancho.

Fees for those two are expected to sit around £40million and £74million respectively.

Should they move quickly and successfully in those two areas, one deal which might take a little more work is their pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

A stand-out performer for the Hammers this season, United are understood to be interested, having sent scouts to watch the England man in action, while the Manchester Evening News revealed last month that Rice would be open to a move to Old Trafford.

Once again, finances come into play, with former United manager David Moyes already suggesting that £100million wouldn't be enough to secure Rice's services.

Added to the funds that have seemingly been freed up by Cavani's decision, there is a further card to play here in the shape of Jesse Lingard, who has enjoyed a superb loan spell in East London and could be used as a makeweight in any potential deal for Rice.

David de Gea and Diogo Dalot are two players who could be sold this summer, too, meaning United have plenty of scope to pursue and back-up deals for Varane, Sancho and Rice if they see fit.

It would address three quarters of Solskjaer's transfer puzzle. Not bad for one window.

Along with Greenwood, Cavani has not only bought his employers time with his on-field exploits - but his decision to stay has also provided them with a catalyst to come up with a more bespoke transfer plan that, ultimately, gives them a better chance to claw back City when the next campaign rolls around.

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GistLobby⚽: Edinson Cavani decision has unlocked Manchester United's perfect triple transfer plan
Edinson Cavani decision has unlocked Manchester United's perfect triple transfer plan
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