Man Utd agree Casemiro deal in principle

·2-min read

Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle to sign midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £60million.

The Brazil international is set to become the fourth arrival of this window after Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

Casemiro, who had three years remaining on his contract with Madrid, brings plenty of quality and experience to Erik ten Hag's midfield after racking up over 300 appearances during nine trophy-filled years at Santiago Bernabeu.

Indeed, the 30-year-old won five Champions Leagues with Los Blancos - scoring against Juventus in the 2017 final - as well as four LaLiga titles and three Club World Cups.

Casemiro struggled to nail down a regular spot following his move to Madrid from Sao Paulo in 2013; spending the 2014-15 season on loan at Portuguese giants Porto.

However, he did not look back after cementing his place in the starting line-up during the 2015-16 campaign, with no midfielder winning more tackles in LaLiga since then (415).

The Brazilian has also completed 368 interceptions in the past seven seasons - with Dani Garcia (399) the sole midfielder to better that tally - while Dani Parejo (1,666) and Sergio Busquets (1,504) were the only players in his position to win possession on more occasions than him (1,462).

Casemiro most tackles won in LaLiga since 2015-16
Casemiro most tackles won in LaLiga since 2015-16

Ten Hag has been keen to bolster his ranks in midfield ever since assuming the reins at Old Trafford, with Eriksen's arrival the first piece of that jigsaw.

But by and large it has been a window of frustration for United, who have spent the majority of the past few months pursuing Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong only to hit several bumps in the road.

A deal was reportedly agreed with Juventus for Adrien Rabiot only for that transfer to break down due to the player's excessive wage demands.

That led United to Casemiro, with rumours over the move only surfacing on Thursday.

But the transfer appeared all but done when Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Casemiro had expressed a desire to complete a move away from the Spanish capital.

"We've spoken this morning, he wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. I understand this, also the club does," Ancelotti said on Friday.

"Because of what he has done in this club, his desire and due to everything he has done for this team, we need to be respectful of this.

"There are negotiations between the clubs, he is still a Real Madrid player but it looks like he is now willing to depart. If he is departing we have a lot of resources to replace him.

"I've always talked a lot with him in my second time at Real Madrid. I just listened to his desire, I think there's no turning back. This is what he wants."