Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Edinson Cavani will get a new contract and a second season at Manchester United after praising his “attitude and personality”.
The Uruguayan signed a one-year deal when he joined as a free agent in October, with United having the option of a second year, which has not yet been triggered.
Cavani turned 34 this month but he’s still scored seven goals in 24 appearances and Solskjaer has praised his approach to the club and his desire.
Those were traits Ander Herrera and Diego Forlan told Solskjaer about when he did his due diligence on a potential deal for Cavani and the United boss has been delighted with what he’s seen this season.
“I haven’t been surprised by Edinson, just impressed,” he said. “I’m not surprised because I spoke to Ander Herrera and Diego Forlan and other players who knew Edinson.
“Every single one of them sang Edinson’s praises for his attitude, his personality – and that is exactly what we have seen.
“You know, when you’re a footballer, there is a spell early on in your career when you’re young and you’re eager.
“Then you enter a stage half-way through when you come to think you’re invincible. But then you get towards the end – and that’s when you really make the most of it.
“Edinson isn’t going to let his career be cut short through any lack of desire or determination or lack of work.
“I can only say that I have been really impressed with him. But surprised, no, because I knew what we were getting.”
United and Cavani will hold discussions over his future before the extension is activated and while Solskjaer expects those talks to take place at the end of the season he has hinted that the deal will be extended after joking that he hoped the striker would get to see better weather during his stay in Manchester.
“I will sit down with him at the end of the season. So far, so good,” said Solskjaer.
“We will have a discussion between Edinson and the club between ourselves.
“But I have to say that what he’s done has been very positive. All I will say is that I hope the weather in Manchester will improve for him!”
Cavani is a stellar name signed by Solskjaer during his time as United boss and Bruno Fernandes has become an elite-level player since his initial £47million move last January.
United still retain an interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland as a long-term option at centre forward and Solskjaer’s countryman is likely to leave the Bundesliga side in the next 18 months.
United’s revival under Solskjaer is gradually making them a more attractive option to world-class players and the manager insists that is all part of his grand plan.
“We’ve got a plan to become a very successful Man United team and a team that top players would like to play for,” he said. “It’s down to us to keep improving and getting closer to the trophies.
“I can’t say anything about individuals – but we’ve already got players who people are talking about.
“What we have to do is keep working and keep trying to improve. We’ve got the backing. The owners keep backing the club and myself and hopefully we can improve.
“We are getting better but we need to do better than last year when we got to three semi-finals. The next stage is to get into finals and establish ourselves again as challengers in the league.
“We finished third last season, but if you look at the six years before then I think our average position was fifth.
“So we have got better – but we’ve got to keep on getting better.”
Solskjaer’s own contract expires in less than 18 months, but he remains in constant dialogue with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“I talk to Ed all the time and I know we will keep on discussing the progress of the team,” he said;
“I’ve still got time left on my contract and my job is to keep doing my best for the club.
“My conversations with Ed are always private.”