Barcelona are very much in the market for another goalscorer. With Sergio Aguero ruled out indefinitely, and with retirement potentially on the cards for the experienced Argentine, an alternative option at No.9 is required.
Memphis Depay has been asked to fill that void, but the Dutchman has never really been an out-and-out centre-forward and will always feel more comfortable drifting wide to find space. Somebody is required at Camp Nou to occupy those gaps down the middle.
Various options are being mooted, with Xavi seemingly favouring pedigree over potential. It is easy to see why, with ongoing struggles for consistency leaving Barca at 29/1 for La Liga title glory within football bets from Space Casino.
A club of such stature should not be that far off the pace and something clearly needs to be done in order for a corner to be turned. Someone to put chances away on a regular basis would represent a sizeable step in the right direction.
Edinson Cavani is among those said to be registering on the Blaugrana’s recruitment radar, with the wily Uruguayan ticking plenty of boxes. Unfortunately for his Spanish suitors, he is just as valuable to his current employers.
Manchester United have a proven performer tied to a contract through to 2022 and will expect that agreement to be honoured. They may well part company with an ex-Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain hot shot when he hits free agency, but can they afford to before then?
That poser will be frustrating power brokers at Barcelona. They need to give Xavi a competitive squad in order to come back into contention for major honours, but funds are in short supply.
Cavani would be a budget option that addresses the short-term needs of a sleeping giant. Someone is required in the final third to help bridge the gap between a testing present and a hopefully brighter future.
There have been suggestions that a man supposedly in their sights would jump at the chance to pack his bags in Manchester and book a ticket to El Prat Airport. He has seen fellow countryman Luis Suarez tread that path before and could follow suavely in illustrious footsteps.
Barca, though, are no longer in the business of getting what they want. They will also be painfully aware that fellow heavyweights in the Premier League are not the type to roll over without a fight.
Cavani heading to Catalunya makes a lot of sense – for the player and interested party – but just because something sounds good does not mean that it will happen.
United are already leaning heavily on the talismanic qualities of Cristiano Ronaldo and, with Anthony Martial looking a long way off the pace of late, will be wary of leaving themselves short in the striking department when competing on multiple fronts.
They are hardly firing on all cylinders this season either and Cavani has shown across a season and a half on their books that he can be relied on to deliver when called upon. He may not always start, but he remains a useful ace for Ralf Rangnick to have up his sleeve.
That situation could leave Barcelona hanging. They may well get their man in time, if patience can be extended through to next summer, but United’s needs are just as great as theirs and that will likely keep Cavani in England for at least six more months.