In what has been a mostly trying summer for Manchester United fans, the last few days has brought potential cheer. Reports started early in the week that United would make a move for Casemiro, the Brazilian midfield titan at Real Madrid. At first the reports were laughed at, but when it became clear that United would pay an eye-watering fee of around €60m plus double the players wages on a long-term deal, it started to gain traction. Now, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the player wants to move on.
While few players leave Real Madrid voluntarily, Casemiro has achieved everything at the club. His form and quality more or less assures he will make the winter World Cup squad regardless of how United are doing. So, with so many trophies won – the midfielder has actually won more UEFA Champions League trophies than United have as a club – in his time in Madrid, the chance for a new start seems fair.
Casemiro, then, will make the move to England and join up with the Red Devils. He will immediately become among their highest earners, and is likely to become one of their key players. The idea appears to be to pair up the midfielder with international colleague Fred.
Ancelotti confirms desire for exit from Brazil international
While most assumed United were simply being used as leverage for a new deal, Casemiro has confirmed he wants to go. In his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend games, Ancelotti himself confirmed that the player is intending on making an exit.
At the presser, per Diario AS, Ancelotti noted: “I spoke about it with him. He wants to try a new challenge, the club understands it. Casemiro for what he has done and the person he is, you have to respect that wish. There are negotiations, it is not official, he continues to be out player but his desire is to leave. If he does, we have the resources to replace him.”
It is a surprising turn of events, given how important the player has been to the club. However, a fee of €60m for a player who is approaching his early 30s and is on a deal which is running out is hard to reject. The player has spent nine years in Madrid, including spells on loan, and has become one of their modern greats.
When asked if he tried to try and convince the player to stick around, though, Ancelotti was dismissive of the idea, saying: “I listened to his intentions, his wish, there is no turning back.”
With so many midfielders already on the books and the rising quality of many academy stars, though, Madrid can probably afford to lose the player. For United, he will add a layer of extra strength and power to a powderpuff, one-paced midfield. For all parties, then, this could be the best outcome after what could have become a messy, challenging transfer saga.