Edinson Cavani has told Ralph Rangnick that he wants to stay at Manchester United and help improve the team’s fortunes.
The 34-year-old joined the Old Trafford giants in October 2020 and was strongly tipped to leave after only one season, only to have agreed to stay for one more campaign.
There was more speculation about his future in the January transfer window but Rangnik told Cavani that he had no intention of leaving him as Barcelona had reportedly made a move.
Asked if he had told any players after last week’s comments about the veteran striker and Donny van de Beek that he might leave this month, the interim United boss said: “No, but I told Eddie that Didn’t even tell that he can’t go.
“I told him if it’s up to me I want him to stay and I spoke to him (Thursday).
“He came to my office and we talked for about half an hour and he told me that he would definitely stay, he would like to stay till the end of the season.
“Not only because I told him he should or should stay, but he did so on his part.
“He told me that I can count on him to stay till the end of the season and give my best, be a role model for the young players.
“If he must play from the start, he is available and he is happy to play.
“Even if he is not playing, he will try to be the best possible role model for other players.
“It’s good news, to me, because Eddie is one of those players who have his vast experience, his mindset, his work ethic, who can really be a role model for all the other players.”
United need all the information and quality they can get as they now want to end the five-year wait for a trophy.
Their Premier League title hopes have long since evaporated and Rangnik’s side welcomed Aston Villa on Monday in the final FA Cup match of the third round.
“I have always been a huge fan, supporter and admirer of the FA Cup,” said the 63-year-old.
“I remember in 1980 or 1981 when I spent my years abroad in Brighton, I saw the FA Cup final at Wembley.
“It was West Ham against Arsenal, it was my departure from my teammates at Southwick.
“I have always been a big fan of the atmosphere, apparently it was the old Wembley Stadium.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 9 January 2022
“It is a very important competition for me. We will definitely try to play our best team and a strong team in that game.
“We take the game as seriously as possible and hope to go a round ahead but to do that we have to be successful against Aston Villa.
“We know it will not be an easy game because they are doing well especially since they change managers.
“They won four games and lost four games, three of them against the top team. It needs top performance from us to be successful.”
United will certainly have to play better than last week’s loss to Wolves at Old Trafford, when the scoreline did not reflect how bad the hosts were.
Rangnik’s synod football has failed to materialize in any consistent way, but he believes his group has the potential to embrace it.
“It’s the only way we can compete at that level in this league,” he said.
“Whenever you watch sports, even if it’s not the top teams, they play with intensity, they play physically, they play with energy and they sprint. That’s what we have to do.
“We have to grow into a team like this. As I said, in the first game against Crystal Palace, we showed a lot of things at least in the first half and it’s about applying that to the team permanently. It’s our job.
“We have to do it together with the players and obviously we have to develop the players, to identify the players for each game who are willing and able to do that and to fix what we said “