According to El Nacional, Florentino Perez proposed a move for the Uruguayan striker at the end of the transfer window but Carlo Ancelotti was content with his options and decided against it.
Real Madrid made a promising start to the season but followed up a goalless draw against Villarreal with an embarrassing loss to Sheriff in the Champions League.
They only managed to score a single goal from 31 shots against the Moldovan minnows, prompting Ancelotti to reassess his attacking options.
With a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe on hold until the summer, Los Blancos are looking for a clinical finisher to see them through the rest of the season.
Cavani is their preferred option, having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford since the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 34-year-old has made three fleeting appearances as a substitute, totalling just over an hour of action, so far this season.
A loan move in January could suit all parties, increasing Cavani’s game time, reducing Man United’s wage bill and boosting Real Madrid’s firepower.
Karim Benzema remains the club’s undisputed first-choice striker but there are lingering doubts about Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz, who sit in reserve.
Ancelotti hoped that they would be able to contribute enough to avoid the need for a short-term measure like Cavani but recent results suggest otherwise.
Although Falcao and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also came under consideration over the summer, when it became clear that Mbappe would be staying put, Cavani is their chosen target.
The former Palermo, Napoli and PSG man has an exceptional goalscoring record for club and country.
A composed finisher and strong in the air, his movement and touch seemed as sharp as ever as he scored 17 goals in all competitions last season.
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