Barcelona's chances of signing Edinson Cavani in January have been shut down by Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick. The Red Devils have no intention of letting the Uruguayan forward leave the club, despite Cavani failing to get regular game time following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Catalan club had made signing a forward a priority during the winter transfer window, and Cavani was among the players at the top of the wanted list. Barcelona were looking at a replacement for Sergio Aguero, who was forced to retire from football owing to heart issues, following his move to Spain earlier in the summer.

Cavani was said to be ready to join the Catalan club as he was keen to play regularly, having made just three starts in the Premier League thus far this campaign. The Uruguay international has also been hampered by injuries and played his first 90 minutes of the season on Dec 30 during United's routine 3-1 win over Burnley.

Rangnick has made it clear that he values Cavani highly, and has no intention of letting him leave midway through the campaign. The former Paris Saint-Germain forward is contracted to the 20-time English champions until this summer, after which he is expected to leave on a free transfer.

"He knows that I will definitely not let him go," Rangnick said, as quoted by BBC. "I told him from the very first day that, for me, 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."

Edinson Cavani
Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani celebrates his goal against Fulham Clive Rose/POOL

"And, as I said, his professionalism, his work ethic is just amazing and I told him that I desperately want him to stay until the end of the season. He knows that. He also knows how highly I rate him and how highly I respect him.

"We will definitely need Edi. I would rather have another Edi on top of that but for me it's clear that Edi has to stay," the Red Devils' interim boss added.

Barcelona have already begun working on signing other targets, with Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus' Alvaro Morata, now on the wanted list. The latter is said to be Xavi Hernandez's top choice to fill the void left by Aguero.

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata scored Spain's winner against Sweden JORGE GUERRERO/AFP