Casemiro: Manchester United close to agreeing £59.2m deal for Real Madrid midfielder

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Manchester United are close to agreeing a £59.2m deal for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro but have had a £67.6m bid rejected for Ajax winger Antony.

United are set to pay the Spanish giants an initial £50.7m for Casemiro with £8.5m in add-ons, while the Brazilian has a four-year contract with the option of a further 12 months at Old Trafford on the table.

But the move is unlikely to be completed in time for the 30-year-old to be available for Monday night’s home game against Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, as he requires a visa.

Casemiro is greatly appreciated by Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, but, speaking on Friday, the Italian confirmed the player wants “to try a new challenge”.

“I talked to him this morning,” Ancelotti said. “He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. I and the club understand it.

“With what he’s done at this club and the person he is, we have to respect it. There are talks right now, nothing is official, but he wants to leave.

“We wish him all the best in his next challenge.”

Luka Modric signed a contract extension to 2023 and Toni Kroos also provides pedigreed experience to mesh with younger talents, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde.

Real cannot guarantee a spread of minutes to Manchester United’s potential new signing. It will be viewed as sensible to get his wages off the books, while banking a big transfer fee.

United have desperately needed a defensive midfielder for years and the Brazilian offers attributes manager Erik ten Hag does not possess in his squad.

The former Sao Paulo man has played over 300 times for Madrid and has been part of five Champions League successes.

Casemiro is set to become United’s fourth summer signing after the arrivals of Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez. (Sky Sports)

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