MADRID (AP) – Manchester United reached a deal on Friday to sign midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid, ending the Brazilian’s successful stint in Spain and giving the struggling English giant a much-needed reinforcement.
Both clubs confirmed the deal but did not provide financial details, although Spanish media said the deal for the 30-year-old Brazilian was worth about EUR70 million (USD70 million) plus variables.
United said the transfer is subject to the agreement of personal terms, United Kingdom visa requirements and a medical.
United, which has lost its opening two games of the season, has been in the market for a central midfielder since the transfer window opened.
Casemiro’s arrival should be a boost for beleaguered United manager Erik ten Hag, who unsuccessfully deployed playmaker Christian Eriksen in a deeper-lying midfield role in last weekend’s 4-0 loss at Brentford. Madrid thanked Casemiro and called him a club legend. He had been with Madrid since 2013 and helped it win 18 titles, including five Champions League and three Spanish leagues.
The club said Casemiro will be honoured at an event at the team’s training centre tomorrow.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti had said earlier on Friday that Casemiro was in negotiations for a move and a deal was imminent.
He said he spoke with Casemiro and felt “there was no way back.”
“He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity,” Ancelotti said in a news conference.
“The club understands. With all he’s done for this club and the person he is, we have to respect it. There are talks right now, he’s still a Real Madrid player at this stage, but he wants to leave.”
Ancelotti said he didn’t try to change Casemiro’s mind about leaving.
“I haven’t tried to convince him, I just listened, because I have spoken to Casemiro throughout my time here and he has helped us so much,” Ancelotti said.
“Having heard what he wants, there’s no way back. If he doesn’t stay, we’ll have an enormous sense of gratitude to him for all he’s done.”
The 30-year-old Casemiro has been with Madrid since 2013 and is regarded as one of the world’s best holding midfielders.
Madrid’s midfield has been one of the best in the world in recent years with Casemiro playing alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Casemiro helped the club win five Champions League titles and three Spanish leagues, among several other trophies.