Manchester United are considering a £50 million move for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro as their deal to sign Adrien Rabiot is on the brink of collapse.
United have failed to agree personal terms with Rabiot with Casemiro seen as a more exciting alternative should they be able to persuade Real to let him leave this month.
It is understood that manager Erik ten Hag is keen on the 30-year-old Brazilian international as he looks to improve his options for a holding midfielder. Even though Casemiro has three years left on his contract Real may be prepared to negotiate having signed Aurélien Tchouaméni and with Eduardo Camavinga and Fede Valverde already at the club. Whether Casemiro wants to leave Real and step away from Champions League football remains to be seen but a move for him is being discussed and a fee of around £50 million has been proposed.
There was a provisional agreement in place between United and Juventus for a transfer fee of around £15 million with add-ons for Rabiot but no wage package or contract duration have yet been agreed between club and player. United’s de facto sporting director John Murtough flew to Turin last week for talks with the player’s representatives including his mother and agent Veronique.
United’s lamentable start to the season has put them under considerable pressure to sign players – a midfielder among them – and they will have to reassess what they are prepared to give Rabiot or whether they must move on to another target. The 27-year-old France international has been keen to come to the Premier League for some time and has just one more season on his deal in Turin.
United had looked at both Rabiot and Lazio’s Spanish-born Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who has been of interest to the club for some time. The two defeats at the start of the Ten Hag reign have accelerated the need for new recruits especially with a stalemate on the deal to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona. United have to move on to new targets quickly now with the season underway and points being lost.
It is unclear what kind of contract Rabiot would want at United but the tax regime in Italy is far more favourable than the United Kingdom. The club already have a wage bill that has rated around third highest in the Premier League in recent years. United have suffered from a spiralling set of demands after David de Gea earned his most recent contract in 2019 which set a very high bar at around £350,000 a week and changed expectations in the rest of the squad. It has also had an impact on potential new recruits.