Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed Casemiro wants to leave the club amid reports of a pending move to Manchester United.
The Red Devils have made just three signings in the summer transfer window so far, bringing in Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen, but one of their pressing needs is a defensive midfielder. That need was clear in Man Utd’s 4-0 defeat to Brentford in which Eriksen was played alongside Fred in a double pivot, severely struggling when put under pressure by his former teammates.
Man Utd have spent much of the summer chasing Frenkie de Jong but the Dutchman did not want to join the Red Devils, so Erik ten Hag turned his attention to Adrien Rabiot. The Frenchman appeared to be on his way to Old Trafford but the move collapsed as the two parties could not come to an agreement over personal terms.
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So Man Utd’s attention turned back to La Liga, only this time focusing on Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid and Casemiro.
Things have moved pretty quickly since Casemiro’s name first popped up as a potential target for Man Utd, a deal that at first looked unrealistic given the position in which the Red Devils find themselves. With no Champions League football, a major reason for De Jong not being interested in signing, Man Utd are also currently bottom of the Premier League so fans were finding it hard to see a reason for Casemiro moving to Old Trafford.
After all, Casemiro is currently part of arguably the best midfield trio in the world right now alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and last season scooped up his fifth Champions League winners’ medal as well as a third La Liga title. Since the start of the 2017/18, Casemiro has made 589 tackles in La Liga and the Champions League, more than any other player has managed in one of Europe’s top five leagues and the top two European competitions (Champions League and Europa League).
However, Casemiro does appear to be on his way to Man Utd, with Ancelotti confirming the Brazilian wants a new challenge – though he did not say where.
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“The negotiations are ongoing right now, he is still our player but his will is to leave,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“I have spoken with him. Casemiro, for what he has done and the person he is, we must respect that desire.
“Casemiro wants a new challenge and we understand his feeling, I do not think there is a way back.”
When asked about a move for Casemiro, Ten Hag remained as tight-lipped as expected, telling reporters: “Until a player has signed I cannot tell anything.”