Casemiro wants to go to Manchester United, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed. The midfielder wants “a new challenge” away from the Bernabeu.
ESPN reported on Thursday that the Brazil international midfielder – who has won five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles at Madrid in nine years – is considering an offer from United, with an imminent decision.
– La Liga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (US only)
– Notebook: Ten Hag’s concerns about De Gea
– Real Madrid’s third kit, inspired by the Bernabeu
Casemiro, 30, is expected to receive a significant pay raise at United, who have been looking to bolster their squad after losing the first two games of the Premier League season.
“I’ve talked about it with [Casemiro] this morning,” Ancelotti said at a press conference Friday ahead of Madrid’s LaLiga game against Celta Vigo. “He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. The club and I understand. Casemiro — with what he’s done at this club and with the person he is — we have to respect this desire that he has.
“There are currently negotiations. Nothing is official, he is still a Real Madrid player, but he wants to leave. If he reaches an agreement, we will have the means to replace him.”
Ancelotti said he had not tried to convince the player to change his mind.
“I just listened to him,” said the Italian coach. “If we hear his wish to leave, there is no going back… If the negotiations go well and an agreement is reached, we should wish him all the best and look at what we have.
“It’s hard to speak right now because we don’t know what will happen in the next few hours, whether he stays or goes. But if he goes, we’ll be immensely grateful to him.”
Real Madrid have already added a potential replacement to their roster this summer, signing French international Aurelien Tchouameni in June for €80 million.
Ancelotti said the club would not seek to sign an additional midfielder if Casemiro completes his move to United.
“We have replacements in the squad,” he said. “We have a lot of good players who can play in that position. Tchouameni is one of the best midfielders on the market right now. Then there is the option of Toni Kroos, who can play in that position, like he did in my second year. ” here [the 2014-15 season]when we won 22 games in a row.
“We have [Eduardo] Camavinga, who played last year. We can’t replace Casemiro with a player with the same characteristics, but we have others with different characteristics… In my [AC Milan] team [Andrea] Pirlo played in that position and did well.”
“If Casemiro leaves, we will have six midfielders,” Ancelotti added. “[Luka] Modric, Kroos, Tchouameni, [Fede] Valverde, Camavinga and [Dani] Ceballos. I think six is enough to last the whole season.”