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Man United round-up: daily Old Trafford digest... Casemiro, João Félix, Old Trafford take-over, Glazer family...

Casemiro is reported to have agreed personal terms with Manchester United and told Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti of his intentions on Friday.

Casemiro en el entrenamiento con el Real Madrid

There seems to be no end to the turmoil at Manchester United. With two defeats from the first two games, Erik ten Hag’s team are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table - the first time they have occupied the last position in 30 years. On the pitch, the disappointing form of last season so far has been carried through to the current campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo, the team’s top scorer in 2021/22, is itching for a move away but can’t find a club that can afford him.

The club’s activity in this summer’s transfer window included bringing in Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martínez - a promising signing but he will require time to adapt to the pace and pressures of the Premier League; as will left-back Tyrell Malacia, who also came via the Eredivise. There have been new developments regarding transfer target Casemiro with reports that the Real Madrid player, or his agents, have agreed personal terms on a four-year deal with the option of a fifth year. Brazil international Casemiro was selected to bolster the midfield after the club missed out on Frenkie de Jong who is keen to stay in Spain. Some reports suggest that Casemiro might have felt a little threatened by Aurélien Tchouameni’s arrival and wants a new challenge.

While all of this has been going on, initiatives are underway to oust the club’s owners, the Glazer family. So far, three potential new owners are preparing bids - the latest being Manchester-born billionaire and Ineos CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Buying out the Glazers would cost an estimated £5billion.

On a more cheerful note, the next game is against eternal foes Liverpool, at home. Klopp’s team haven’t had the start they would have liked either - they are still without a win and plagued with injuries. A victory at Old Trafford on Monday would be just the tonic Ten Hag’s troops need to change the dynamic.

No chance of Casemiro joining United in time for Monday’s game against Liverpool

It’s too late for Casemiro to complete a move to Old Trafford in time for Monday night’s visit from Liverpool. United would have had to have completed the transfer and registered the player with the Premier League by 12 noon on Friday, which has now passed. If the deal goes through, the player would require a work permit to be able to play in England. He holds a dual Brazilian-Spanish passport and would not have any impact on the Premier League’s squad requisites as United are well within the quota of home-grown players.

United fans call for ‘real investment’ from any new owner

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) stated that any new owner of the Premier League club must be willing to invest heavily to restore its former glory amid speculation of a sale by the Glazer family. British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has expressed an interest in buying United after Tesla founder Elon Musk said a Twitter post in which he said he planned to buy the club was part of ‘a long-running joke’. The club’s owners, the American Glazer family, are under pressure with United sitting bottom of league after two games of the new season.

Bloomberg reported they would consider selling a minority stake, opening the door for Ratcliffe. “Speculation is mounting about a potential change of ownership or new investors at Manchester United. Whilst supporters have called for change, of course this has to be the right change,” MUST said in a statement on Twitter. “Any prospective new owner or investor has to be committed to the culture, ethos and best traditions of the club. They have to be willing to invest to restore United to former glories, and that investment must be real new money spent on the playing side and the stadium.” A new ownership structure must embed supporters and include fan share ownership, the group added.

Ancelotti confirms Casemio wants to leave

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was asked about the situation concerning Casemiro and confirmed that he has spoken to the player, who told him he feels it’s time to move on. Speaking in today’s press conference ahead of the weekend game against Celta in Vigo, Ancelotti said: “I’ve spoken to him. He wants a new challenge. The club understands his wishes, we have to respect what he wants. Negotiations are now underway, but in the meantime, he is still a Real Madrid player. However, he is set on leaving. If he goes, we have the resources to deal with it. He has helped us a lot and we have listened to his request, there is no going back. If there is an agreement for him to leave, we have to wish him the very best”.

Billionaire Ratcliffe interested in buying United claim The Times

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying Manchester United, his spokesperson told The Times on Wednesday. The club’s American owners, the Glazer family, are under pressure with United sitting bottom of the Premier League after two games of the season. Bloomberg reported they would consider selling a minority stake, opening the door for Ratcliffe. ‘If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,’ Ratcliffe’s spokesperson said. “If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.”

The Glazers have been the target of intense criticism for their failure to invest in the team who have not won a trophy in five years. Ratcliffe, head of chemical company INEOS, is from the Manchester area and a long-standing fan of the club. “This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset,” the spokesperson added. Ratcliffe failed this year in an attempt to buy London club Chelsea which was ultimately bought by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

How could Man United line up with Casemiro?

After seven years and five Champions League titles with Real Madrid, the Brazilian defensive midfielder would make a leap in quality to the midfield of the Mancunian team, one which has experienced its worst start in the last 30 years. The arrival of the 30-year old would have United hoping to gain in both character and leadership, two qualities that have been missing at Old Trafford in recent years despite the big names and huge fees paid out in that time. After last season, when United failed to qualify for UEFA’s top competition, rumours began circling about some of the team’s mainstays, including Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo. Convincing the effective midfielder to step away from football’s top table could change the mood - and he has already played alongside old team mates Cristiano and Raphaël Varane at Madrid.

So, with the deal seemingly being finalised, attention has turned to how this could change the first choice XI. Doubts over Maguire could see the captain’s armband switched to David de Gea, although the Spanish goalkeeper is not going through his best time of it either and Ten Hag has suggested that he’s happy to continue with his defender for the time being. However, with the opening season defeats against Brighton and Brentford, Varane may be bumped up the pecking order to link up with his former teammate again, and the Englishman may be the one to lose out.

Either way, the incorporation of Casemiro would serve to improve the Red Devils’ work without the ball, for whom it is proving very difficult to maintain a measured level of pressure. In that sense, the Brazilian holder could order United’s defensive lines, being used to playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing more freedom for the creative players ahead of him.

And despite the fact that in Madrid he was not used to playing as a double pivot, Casemiro often does it with Brazil, and on top of that with Fred by his side. In this way, the EPL side could recreate that duo, with the burden of defensive work falling to Casemiro. This is something that United fans have been screaming for, convinced that the Fred-McTominay pairing was never going to pay off.

Despite the surprising aspect of the signing, Casemiro’s move would almost certainly guarantee an immediate uplift in performance for Ten Hag. And he really needs it after the start they’ve had. That said, up next is a visit from Liverpool who, having had a couple of poor results themselves, will be looking to get their title challenge back on track at Old Trafford. For that reason, and the time needed to cross T’s and dot I’s, it may be that the Brazilian does not feature.

When he does, the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen can expect to get a new lease of life, in the same way that the likes of Modric and Kroos benefited from their midfield battler-with-style. If the undoubted creative talent of the team can be reignited, the season could be turned on its head. Casemiro is certainly not a long-term solution, but it could help the club flip fortunes in the coming months and allow for some momentum to be built.

Then again, across the last decade United fans have had a lot of hope with each new signing, only to be left very, very disappointed...

How much would Casemiro earn at United?

United have presented Casemiro and Real Madrid with a highly attractive offer. Diario AS understands that United’s proposal would see Casemiro potentially earn 100 million euros after tax over five years.

In England, it is being reported Real Madrid and United are hammering out a deal for around 60 million euros which would see Case move to Manchester on a four-year contract with the possibility of a fifth season. Madrid would be sorry to see him go but happy to make a tidy profit on a player they paid 7.5 million euros to buy back from Porto in 2015.

Casemiro pictured in Friday's training session in Madrid (Photo By Irina R. Hipolito/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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Casemiro pictured in Friday's training session in Madrid (Photo By Irina R. Hipolito/Europa Press via Getty Images)Europa Press SportsGetty

Casemiro omitted from Real Madrid squad for Celta match

Ancelotti left Casemiro out of the squad that will travel to Vigo for Saturday’s league meeting with Celta. The Brazilian midfielder is due to fly out to Manchester later on Friday to complete his move to Man United.

Klopp sympathises with United and Ten Hag

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp compared his arrival at Anfield with Erik ten Hag’s at United in this afternoon’s press conference, telling reporters that football has moved on in the seven years he has been in the Premier League. “It’s not easy, definitely not,” he said. “Especially when you have to rebuild, or whatever, however they see it, change a lot of things. That’s not easy. It was obviously not a nice week for United after the Brentford game. We forget at this moments just how good Brentford are. I watched the first half then I drove home and then listened to Talksport and I was close to calling in to tell Gabby Agbonlahor, ‘You forgot completely that you were a player...’ - it was unbelievable. Anyway, you have to ask yourself how you would want to react in a situation like that - you’d fight back, that’s what we expect. The good news is that whenever we play United, it’s always the same. We’re not happy about our start but there were a few things that we liked as well. United can change nothing, can change everything, we don’t know so it’s really tricky preparation-wise”.


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