London (AFP) – Edinson Cavani has told Ralf Rangnick that he wants to stay at Manchester United and help improve the misfiring team’s fortunes after speculation that he would leave during the January transfer window.
The 34-year-old moved to Old Trafford in October 2020 and was strongly tipped to depart after just one season, only to agree to stay for a further campaign.
Rangnick said last week he would not let Cavani go and he has now confirmed that the veteran striker is keen to stay.
“I told him that if it was up to me I would want him to stay and I had a conversation with him (on Thursday),” said Rangnick
“He came to my office and we spoke for almost half an hour and he told me that he will definitely stay, he will want to stay until the end of the season.
“Not only because I told him that he should stay or has to stay, but he did it on his own behalf.”
Rangnick said Cavani was happy to play matches from the start but would also be the “best possible role model” for other players even if not playing.
“This is, for me, good news because Edi is one of those players with his vast amount of experience, his mentality, his work ethic, who could really be a perfect role model for all the other players,” he said.
United, who are seeking to end a trophy drought that now stretches to nearly five years, welcome Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on Monday in the final FA Cup fixture of the third round.
The team have failed to produce consistently the pressing football that Rangnick is renowned for but he believes the players have the capacity to embrace it.
“This is the only way we can compete in this league on that level,” said the German, who took charge of his first United match early last month.
“Whenever you watch games, even if it’s not the top teams, they play with intensity, they play with physicality, they play with energy and they sprint. This is what we have to do.
“We have to develop into this kind of team.”
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