Ralf Rangnick has ruled out the possibility of Edinson Cavani leaving Manchester United this month amid interest from La Liga giants Barcelona.

Speaking ahead of the Premier League clash against Wolves (h/t Metro), Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has declared that the club will not be selling Edinson Cavani in the January transfer window, even as Barcelona wait to pounce.

The 34-year-old Uruguayan international is in the final year of his contract with the Red Devils. He has not featured regularly this season due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival and his own injury problems.

Amid reports of frustration at the lack of game-time, Barcelona have been credited with a serious interest in the former PSG superstar. The Catalans are in the market for reinforcements in the No. 9 role and have identified Cavani as one of their top targets in the ongoing transfer window.

Reports last month went as far as claiming that there had been an agreement between the Blaugrana and the Manchester United striker. However, Rangnick has now come out and addressed the future of the veteran star, insisting that the club will not be selling Cavani in the current transfer window.

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“We have had quite a few conversations over the last couple of weeks, probably the player with whom I have spoken the most. I told him from the very first day he is a highly important player, he is probably the only one who can play as a striker back to goal and face to goal. And as I said, his professionalism and his work ethic is just amazing,” the interim manager said.

“I told him that I desperately want him to stay and stay until the end of the season, and he knows that. He knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him. I know from some players that they would want to leave. We spoke about Edi, and he knows that I will definitely not let him go.

“For me, he is a highly important player for the rest of the season, [we’re] still playing in three competitions so we will definitely need Edi. I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it is clear Edi has to stay. With regards to the other players, yes, our squad is maybe a little bit too big with regards to numbers, but we still have Covid [to consider]. We have three competitions, and we could do with a bigger squad maybe than in times without Covid.”

Cavani has scored two goals in seven Premier League matches in the ongoing season. With Rangnick providing a definitive update on his future situation, Barcelona may have to look elsewhere to bolster their attack, with Alvaro Morata emerging as a prospective target.

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