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Barcelona keen on landing Man Utd fringe duo

Barcelona have reportedly laid their eyes on the out-of-favour Manchester United duo Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani.

According to Express Sport and Manchester United News, the Catalan heavyweights are keen to revamp their depleted attacking options in the January transfer window by landing the likes of Cavani and Martial.

Both players have been peripheral figures at Old Trafford over the past six months and are reportedly poised to depart Manchester for regular first-team football elsewhere.

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to shift him to the centre-forward role, Martial has been a shadow of his former self, losing his place in the starting line-up down the road.

A series of injury setbacks haven’t helped his cause at United either, with the 26-year-old registering just two Premier League starts this season.

Martial’s contract is due to expire in 2024, but given his limited game time at the Theatre of Dreams, he could be on his way out in the January transfer window.

Cavani could follow in his teammate’s footsteps and leave Man United this winter after finding himself behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford in the pecking order.

The 34-year-old pledged his fate to the Red Devils in the summer, penning a new season-long contract after being close to moving to Boca Juniors.

However, his idea of first-team football at Old Trafford has failed to materialise, as he’s only managed two Premier League starts while he’s yet to make Man United’s starting XI in the Champions League.

Both players are now keen to reignite their careers away from the Premier League, with cash-strapped Barcelona reportedly interested in offering them an escape route from England.

Why would Barcelona need Man Utd outcasts?

Despite facing financial turmoil, the struggling La Liga giants are hell-bent on reinforcing their squad in the upcoming transfer window following a dreadful first half of the season.

Barcelona have failed to make it out of the Champions League group stages for the first time in 21 years, netting a mere two goals in their six group outings.

Things are not looking any better for Xavi Hernandez’s side in La Liga, where they sit a staggering 16 points adrift in the La Liga table behind Real Madrid.

Barca’s tally of 28 goals scored after 17 top-flight matches is their worst at this stage of the season since the early 2000s.

Much of their scoring woes have to be pinned on the club’s inability to find a proper replacement for Lionel Messi, who left Camp Nou in the summer to link up with Paris Saint-Germain.

Though replacing the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is not a straightforward task, there’s a feeling the Catalans relied on their icon for too many years.

With the Argentina captain now gone for new pastures, it’s up to the club hierarchy to figure out how to shape a new era without the man, who marked one of the club’s most successful periods.

It’s said that Xavi has identified Cavani as the ideal short-term replacement for Sergio Aguero, who was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia and has retired from football.

A lack of an out-and-out striker has come back to haunt Barcelona on too many occasions this season and Xavi is determined to make things right in the winter transfer window.

Meanwhile, he sees Martial as the ideal solution to complement the wide areas, where Barca are currently relying on injury-prone Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati.

It remains to be seen whether they’d be able to overcome financial roadblocks to pull those deals off.

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