Man Utd open to shock January exit as Ratcliffe makes his mark

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 15 Nov 2023 06:48 GMT
  • 4 min read
Erik ten Hag, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United
© ProShots/FootballTransfers

Manchester United are ready to consider bids for midfielder Casemiro during the January transfer window in a turn of events that would have been unthinkable at the start of the season.

Casemiro was one of the success stories of Man Utd’s 2022/23 campaign, turning in a series of consistently strong performances at the heart of the midfield as Erik ten Hag’s side finished third in the Premier League table.

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The 31-year-old’s form, however, has tailed off this term and there is the possibility of interest from the Saudi Pro League, which could allow the Red Devils to recoup a sizeable chunk of the €70 million they paid Real Madrid less than 18 months ago.

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Not only has Casemiro’s form dipped this season, but he has also started to struggle with injury problems. He has been sidelined for the best part of a month with a hamstring issue.

Although his absence has coincided with arguably the worst of Man Utd’s play, this has been masked by four wins from six games in the Champions League and Premier League. These victories all came by a single-goal margin against teams they would expect to sweep aside, though.

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Now TalkSport reports that Man Utd are ready to make a sale in order to cut their losses on the player and go some way to funding a rebuild of the first team, which will be undertaken by incoming minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

It is unclear at this stage which Saudi Pro League team might move for Casemiro, but the likelihood is that it will be one of the big four owned by the Public Investment Fund: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad or Al-Ahli.

Man Utd target Casemiro replacement

FootballTransfers exclusively revealed that Man Utd have already held talks with Fluminense over promising central midfielder Andre, who is the player earmarked as Casemiro’s long-term replacement, but no official bid has been tabled yet.

Liverpool have dropped their interest in the 22-year-old for now, while Fulham are frontrunners for the players, according to the Brazilian media. Tottenham, though, recently stepped up their interest in the player.

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