Manchester United have announced they have reached an agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of the Brazilian midfielder Casemiro.
Earlier on Friday, the Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, admitted that Casemiro was going to join Manchester United. The Premier League club have now confirmed “an agreement in principle” is in place, in what will be a significant lift for Erik ten Hag.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce that the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Casemiro,” the statement said. “The transfer is subject to the agreement of personal terms, UK visa requirements and a medical.”
Casemiro will be United’s fourth acquisition of the transfer window after an initial €60m fee was agreed with Real Madrid, with the 30-year-old midfielder also accepting personal terms of a four-year contract of circa £350,000 a week, with the option of another 12 months.
The Brazil international’s imminent arrival represents a coup for United after a difficult summer in the market that has featured unsuccessful moves for Jurrien Timber, Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot, plus a long-term pursuit of Frenkie de Jong which has stalled with fewer than two weeks left before the 1 September deadline.
Madrid coach Ancelotti said: “I have spoken with Casemiro. He wants to try a new challenge. We understand his decision. Yesterday [Thursday] I realised it was a real thing. My plans won’t change. As far as a replacement is concerned we have signed [Aurélien] Tchouaméni and he’s one of the best on the market. Then we have [Toni] Kroos and [Eduardo] Camavinga.”
In their own official statement, Real Madrid confirmed that the two clubs “have agreed terms for the transfer of Casemiro. Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to Casemiro, who is part of the club’s history.”
While the fee also includes a further €10m in add-ons, Casemiro’s medical and visa should be addressed this weekend though the latter may take a few days as was the case for Lisandro Martínez and Christian Eriksen, two of Ten Hag’s other additions.
Casemiro should immediately improve United’s midfield. Ten Hag has only Fred and Scott McTominay as regular, frontline players in the department. Casemiro will bring a proven winning mentality, having claimed five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles with Madrid since joining the Spanish club from São Paulo in 2013.
Ten Hag also wants to sign Antony, the Ajax forward. While the Dutch club are reluctant to sell, the Guardian understands the 22-year-old is disappointed with Ajax’s stance and is hopeful a transfer to United can still occur. To do so a fee of £80m or more may be required for the Brazilian to be added to another area of the squad Ten Hag wishes to strengthen.
Another Netherlands-based player, the PSV winger Cody Gakpo, is an alternative identified by Ten Hag to Antony and would cost considerably less.