Manchester United have confirmed a deal for Casemiro, making Real Madrid his fourth summer signing in the process. The Brazil international is set to add experience, grit and professionalism to a Red Devils dressing room lacking in all three areas. Still, John Murtough won’t stop with the 30-year-old as he seeks to provide Erik ten Hag with more reinforcements.
Speaking on Friday morning, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti appeared to confirm that Casemiro will move to United.
“Casemiro is leaving but we have a lot of resources to replace him,” he said. “There is no turning back, Casemiro has decided to take on a new challenge.
“We want to wish him the best. Just yesterday I realized that Casemiro is leaving, but our plans don’t change – we will compete for everything with or without Casemiro.
“I think Casemiro was a key player for us, he was important for Kroos and Modric – the combination was the key to success.
“Casemiro’s teammates understand his decision, they respect it – it was his willingness to try a new challenge and we have to accept that.
“I can’t answer why Casemiro swapped the European champions for a struggling team, it’s his personal decision.”
Express Sport will now take a look at what United’s 25-man squad could look like when the transfer window closes.
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Goalkeepers: De Gea, Heaton, Begovic
United saw David De Gea struggle at the start of the season, with the Spain international struggling in defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
And they want a new goalkeeper to provide competition for the veteran, having allowed Dean Henderson to leave on loan for Nottingham Forest.
In recent days, United have been linked with Asmir Begovic. Having played for Stoke, Chelsea and Everton in the Premier League, the Bosnian international would be a good signing.
Begovic could sign a short-term contract with United to keep De Gea on his toes.
And the Red Devils also have Tom Heaton on their books, having re-signed the 36-year-old under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer.
Defenders: Dest, Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw, Malacia
United are unlikely to sign a new left-back, with Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia currently battling for a starting spot.
Likewise at centre-back, the Red Devils being well stocked with Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez at their disposal. Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, meanwhile, could be sold alongside Phil Jones.
But one area the Red Devils want to strengthen is at right-back.
Barcelona will let Sergino Dest leave Camp Nou before the transfer deadline as they seek to balance their finances.
And it’s possible Dest will reunite with Ten Hag at Old Trafford, having played under the Dutchman at Ajax in the Netherlands.
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Midfielders: Fred, McTominay, Garner, Eriksen, Casemiro, Van de Beek, Fernandes, Iqbal
United could end up keeping young Zidane Iqbal, with Charlie Savage more likely to leave on loan than the Iran international.
But although the Red Devils love the young pair, they are still looking for an established name.
That search, however, appears to be coming to an end, with Casemiro set to become a popular figure at Old Trafford once his move is complete.
United have been tipped to sell James Garner but, due to a fan backlash, it’s possible the England international will end up staying put.
He would then compete with Fred, Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen, Donny van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes for a starting spot.
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Forwards: Rashford, ANTONY, Sancho, Ronaldo, Garnacho, Martial
United are still keen on signing Antony from Ajax, believing the Brazil international wants a move to Old Trafford.
And they’re expected to go the extra mile for the Samba star, despite ties to the likes of Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck.
The rest of United’s attack should stay the same, if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t leave of course.
Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial aren’t going anywhere before the deadline.
And Alejandro Garnacho is set to stay put after thriving towards the end of pre-season, while shining as United won the FA Youth Cup last season.
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