By Tony Hughes
Edinson Cavani is at war with Paris Saint-Germain in a major boost to Arsenal and Manchester United in their pursuit of the striker.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc has taken the unusual step of questioning Cavani’s attitude and telling the player he can find a new club.
The Uruguayan, 28, is said to have expressed his dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms at being played on the flanks by Blanc, who has built his team around spearhead Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Cavani has been dropped from the team of the runaway French champions for their last two matches as the prospect grows that he will leave the club, either in the summer or even as early as this month.
Sources close to the situation have told Football Insider that Arsenal and United were among the clubs who made enquiries for the prolific forward last summer. The striker would be a welcome addition to a Gunners side who are already the favourites for the Premier League title.
Arsene Wenger pursued a double deal for Cavani and team-mate Adrien Rabiot in the final 48 hours of the summer window but was put off by PSG’s £50million asking price.
Speaking ahead of his team’s French League Cup clash against Lyon on Wednesday night, Blanc admitted that Cavani is an increasingly disruptive influence at PSG.
“There is a problem with Cavani’s behaviour but my job is to think of the entire squad as a collective,” said Blanc. “We did hold a staff meeting and among the various issues we discussed were Cavani and his complaints.
“The desires of the individual can’t affect the rest of the team. I believe that he can score here but I understand if he wants to consider other career opportunities.”
Cavani was the French champions’ top scorer with 31 goals last season and has added a further 13 in 24 matches this season, including four in his last six matches.
But he has been frozen out since scoring the winner against St Etienne in the French League Cup on 16 December.
The Uruguay international was dropped from the squad for the 3-0 win over Caen on 19 December and, following the winter break, was an unused substitute in Friday’s Ligue 1 victory over Bastia in which Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura started up front.