Edinson Cavani has apologised for his deleted post on Instagram, which contained racial connotations.

The 33-year-old Uruguay international made the comment in response to a message of congratulations for his heroics in the 3-2 win at Southampton on Sunday. He came off the bench to score a brace and assisted Bruno Fernandes for the other goal in the comeback victory at Southampton on Sunday.

Responding to the message, Cavani said: ‘Gracias negrito.’ The Spanish term, which makes reference to race, translates directly as ‘Thanks black’.

The player has now explained the post, saying the message, written in his native Spanish language, had a different  meaning.

“The message I posted after the game on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game. The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone,” Cavani said in a statement.

“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently. I would like to sincerely apologise for this.”

United also comment on the controversial message, saying: “It is clear to us that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson’s message and he deleted it as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued.

“Edinson has issued an apology for any unintentional offence caused. Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism.”

The English FA is now looking into the matter, and should he be found guilty, Cavani could be hit with a minimum three-game ban.