Football

Edinson Cavani has learnt lesson after social media post: Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Edinson Cavani is ready to face his former club Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League at Old Trafford tomorrow morning (Singapore time) despite the furore over his social media post.

Cavani is the subject of an English FA investigation into an Instagram comment he made in response to a congratulatory message, following his two-goal match-winning performance in last Sunday's 3-2 win at Southampton in the English Premier League.

The Uruguayan said he was thanking a friend for the comment when he wrote in Spanish "Gracias negrito". He later deleted the comment and apologised. United said there was "no malicious intent" behind the post.

After his outstanding display at St Mary's, Cavani is likely to lead the line for United against the French champions, for whom he scored 200 goals to become their all-time top scorer before leaving in June.

"He is ready to play and, of course, it's special for him to play against PSG, his old club where he is the top scorer, so that will affect him mentally," Solskjaer said yesterday.

"But, from knowing him, that will give him energy. He is so professional. And he will work on his mindset today to get ready for the game," he said.

As to whether Cavani would be impacted by the fallout from his social media post, Solskjaer said: "He has learnt a lesson. It might affect him, but he will have to put that to one side when the game is on."

Solskjaer added that he was sure the incident was the result of a misunderstanding.

"It's one of those unfortunate situations where he's just come into the country and in Uruguay it's been used in a different way," he said.

The Norwegian confirmed that goalkeeper David de Gea will be fit to start after coming off at half-time against Southampton.

Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba are also in contention to return, but Pogba may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Without the French World Cup winner in the starting line-up, Donny van de Beek has finally managed to get a run in Solskjaer's side as United have won four consecutive league games to climb up the EPL table.

Van de Beek, who spent most of his first few months in Manchester on the bench, said he knew he had to wait for his chance. "I know I can give the team something extra and I can help the team a lot, so I was just patient," he said. - AFP, REUTERS

Football