Manchester United’s key focus before the summer transfer window closes is signing Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro and a deal between the two clubs is progressing.
Casemiro has given positive indications of his desire to join United, who are willing to make the 30-year-old one of their top earners.
A United delegation travelled to Madrid earlier this week for talks. At present no agreement has been reached with Real Madrid or the player — but talks are advancing and United would be unlikely to dedicate so much time to the move if they did not think it was achievable.
Casemiro is one of Real Madrid’s best-paid squad members and United are believed to be making a competitive offer, including significant performance-related incentives, which would put him among their top earners.
Reports that he stands to double his salary at Old Trafford, however, are thought to be wide of the mark.
United are known to be attracted to Casemiro’s character and professionalism, as well as his elite pedigree as a defensive midfielder. He is said to see a huge professional challenge in adding the Premier League to his already glittering personal resume.
Casemiro has already won three La Liga titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues and three FIFA Club World Cups.
Recruiting him may also help United to unlock Fred’s full potential. Casemiro operates in a holding role for Brazil, which allows Fred to take on a more advanced position and that could be replicated at Old Trafford.
United have also explored a move for Frenkie de Jong and a bid for the 25-year-old was accepted by Barcelona earlier this summer.
They were unable to agree personal terms, however, and while the door will remain open from United’s perspective, it is improbable that the Netherlands international would arrive in addition to Casemiro.
Sources insist that Casemiro has been among United’s main targets throughout the market and have stepped up their interest as the chances of signing De Jong have receded.
United are also looking to sign a back-up goalkeeper and potentially a right-back.
Ajax winger Antony has reappeared on their radar but, at the moment, the 22-year-old is regarded as a long shot.
Christian Pulisic is another being pursued, as revealed by The Athletic on Wednesday.
It is not impossible that Cristiano Ronaldo will be allowed to leave before the September 1 deadline, but only if United receive a proposal that suits all parties.
Adrien Rabiot’s proposed transfer to Manchester United is now highly unlikely to materialise, The Athletic reported on Tuesday.
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