Sunday, October 1

Casemiro alters the tranquility of Madrid

Casemiro, during the European Super Cup between Real Madrid and Eintracht. / ef


Manchester United, desperately, insists on signing the Brazilian midfielder, whom they tempt with an astronomical contract

Jose Manuel Andres

In a summer market that has been a real raft of oil for Real Madrid, a last-minute headache has arrived to alter the tranquility that has prevailed in Concha Espina’s offices until now. The domino effect caused by Manchester United’s catastrophic start to the season, bottom of the Premier League and immersed in a real storm on account of the Cristiano Ronaldo case, has ended up splashing Madrid given the urgent need in the ‘red devils’ to find reinforcements to revive Erik ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford.

United are desperately seeking flashy signings and have focused their eyes on Casemiro, a pillar of Madrid’s golden generation who have won five Champions Leagues in eight years. Such is the interest that the offer has come to tempt the player, an indisputable for Ancelotti who now, with the signing of Tchouaméni, finally has a specific replacement. Much less does the Frenchman guarantee the tactical rigor and hierarchy of the Brazilian, at least not for the moment, but the fixed 80 million euros plus another 20 in variables that Madrid agreed with Monaco for his transfer could invite him to give it flight quickly in the form of minutes.

In this context, a more discreet role for Casemiro in Madrid 2022-23 would fit, which, together with the succulent contract offered to the footballer by the English club, could convince Chamartín of the appropriateness of accepting a proposal in the event that the main protagonist so I asked for it. Not in vain, in the white offices the Brazilian’s career with the Madrid shirt and his total identification with the club’s values ​​since he arrived in January 2013 from Sao Paulo are valued. He cost just six million euros, went through Castilla, finished working out at Porto and finally found a place for himself in the first team.

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Despite his 30 years, an age that is even more than acceptable in current football but more conflictive for a defensive midfielder, the numbers of last season continued to be those of an undisputed player in Madrid. He played 48 of the 56 official matches, 46 of them as a starter, and his absence was only due to injury, physical illness or suspension. It is true that Tchouaméni has now arrived, but Casemiro’s impeccable performance in the European Super Cup does not invite us to dispense with the services of a footballer whose ancestry and hierarchy in the white dressing room are very remarkable.

A drifting club

The player has already spoken with Florentino Pérez, who in turn told him that the club has no need for a transfer nor does it intend to, but that it would accept it if the player’s decision was to pack his bags. Thus, and in the absence of specifying the final figures of a contract that would be very high and long-term –until 2027, two years more than what is currently signed in Chamartín–, United are making an initial offer of 60 million euros, with Madrid asking for 80 from the start, so both claims could be somewhere in between.

Beyond economics, the sporting situation of a club that has drifted since its last title in the English Premier League, back in 2013, casts many more doubts. At Old Trafford they never recovered from the absence of Alex Ferguson, the creative brain of that group that dominated with an iron fist in England for two decades and that year after year also imposed on the Old Continent.

To begin with, the Red Devils will have to make do with the Europa League this season, far from the glamor of the Champions League, but nothing seems to indicate that they can improve on sixth place in the domestic competition last year. Manchester City, once a poor neighbor, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham present much more solid projects right now. In this sense, United is knocking on all doors against the clock. He offered 130 million for Joao Félix, with a negative response from Atlético, asked Chelsea for Pulisic and intends to pay the rest for Casemiro.

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