Manchester United are willing to splash an eye-watering sum of money to help Erik ten Hag solve his midfield woes by luring Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro to the club. The Red Devils’ audacious pursuit of Casemiro emerged after contract talks with Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot broke down over his demands earlier this week.
Ed Woodward’s exit prompted early promise of a streamlined structure spearheaded by new chief executive Richard Arnold and John Murtough to help Ten Hag kick start his rebuild with a new vision in style. But United’s summer transfer window has plunged into chaos, and they are now scrambling to back the Dutchman with just two weeks remaining.
He identified the midfield as a problem position during his interview for the job. However, four months since his appointment, he is still yet to receive the elite defensive midfielder initially prioritised. And after an almost 100-day chase of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, United are close to accepting an embarrassing defeat.
In response, the Old Trafford giants have seemingly prioritised a new marquee target – Casemiro. And according to news making the rounds in Spain, they could be set to make an astonishing offer both Real Madrid and the 30-year-old won’t be able to refuse.
The report claims United are willing to submit a bid worth around £67million to sign Casemiro in the final stages of the window. And to tempt the player to become the heart of the early years of Ten Hag’s rebuild, the 20-time English champions are ready to double his £180,000-a-week salary to £360,000.
Such wages would propel Casemiro to the club’s third-highest earner after Cristiano Ronaldo and David de Gea. And while some would argue his career achievements and resulting pedigree warrant such a financial package, it carries a paramount risk considering he’s due to turn 31 this season.
Casemiro’s arrival wouldn’t fail to excite, though, and would undoubtedly sweeten a largely disappointing summer of transfer business. The Brazil stalwart has won five Champions Leagues and three La Ligas throughout his stellar nine-year stint at the Santiago Bernabeu. But his arrival alone is unlikely to guarantee to save the disastrous start to Ten Hag’s reign.
He is said to also want a backup goalkeeper, right-back, another midfielder and a versatile forward before the 11pm deadline strikes on September 1. But United’s snail-paced dealings, combined with growing murmurs over the Glazers’ future as owners, draw little confidence in further investment – especially if this mammoth deal goes through.