Manchester United says it has reached an agreement with La Liga champion Real Madrid for the transfer of defensive midfielder Casemiro.
- The 30-year-old Brazilian midfielder is Erik Ten Hag’s latest signing as he tries to overhaul the struggling club
- Casemiro won 12 major titles, including five Champions League trophies, after joining Real Madrid in 2013
- United currently sit bottom of the Premier League ladder after losing both opening games
The Brazilian is reportedly set to sign a four-to-five year contract totalling about $100m after informing Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti this week of his desire to leave and face “a new challenge”.
“We understand his feeling, I do not think there is a way back,” Ancelotti told media on Friday.
“Real Madrid loses a player that has linked really well with the other midfielders with more quality, [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos. He is important and has been key to Madrid’s success.”
After joining the Spanish giants in 2013 from Brazilian club Sao Paulo, Casemiro won five Champions League trophies, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, and three Club World Cups, among other honours.
Now 30 years old, he is set to reunite with former Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane at United as new head coach Erik Ten Hag comes to terms with the task ahead of him.
United is currently bottom of the Premier League after losing both of its opening games to unfavoured opposition, going down 2-1 to Brighton on the first match day before being thumped 4-0 by Brentford last weekend.
The Red Devils take on Liverpool on Tuesday morning, but it’s believed Casemiro, who has 63 caps for Brazil, will not be available for selection despite the completion of his signing.
His arrival provides more reinforcement for United’s lacklustre midfield that has largely been occupied by fellow Brazilian Fred, Scott McTominay, and Bruno Fernandes.
He will likely join fellow new recruit Christian Eriksen as Ten Hag seeks to overhaul both the system and style of play that has seen United slip from regular European contenders to the target of derision under the ownership of the Glazer family in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
Despite being one of the most lucrative clubs in world sport, United has not won the domestic league title since 2013.
The club has also been criticised for its part in the break-away European Super League proposal; a 20-team competition that aimed to rival the Champions League.
The idea sparked fan protests, sponsorship withdrawals, and government backlash, forcing the club to withdraw from the group just two days after it was announced.
A resultant pitch invasion last May by United supporters calling for the removal of former chairman Ed Woodward and the Glazers became the first postponement of a Premier League game due to supporter protest in the competition’s history.