Casemiro Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed he wants to join Manchester United, saying the midfielder wants a “new challenge” away from the Bernabeu.
ESPN reported on Thursday that the Brazil international midfielder – who won five Champions League titles and three La Liga titles in nine years in Madrid – was considering an offer from United, with a decision imminent.
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Casemiro, 30, is expected to receive a significant salary increase at United, who have been looking to boost their squad after losing their first two Premier League games.
“I talked about it with [Casemiro] This morning, Ancelotti said at a press conference on Friday before Real Madrid’s La Liga game at Celta Vigo, “He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. The club and I understand that. Casemiro – with what he has done at this club and with the person he is – we have to respect this.” the desire that he has.
“There are negotiations now. Nothing is official, he is still a Real Madrid player, but he wants to leave. If he goes and comes to an agreement, we have the resources to replace him.”
Ancelotti said he did not try to persuade the player to change his mind.
“I just listened to him,” said the Italian coach. “On hearing his desire to leave, there is no way back… If the negotiations go well and an agreement is reached, we have to wish him all the best and look at what we have.
“It’s hard to speak now, because we don’t know what will happen in the next few hours, whether he stays or leaves. But if he goes, we are immensely grateful to him.”
Real Madrid have already added a potential replacement to their squad this summer, signing the France international Aurelien Chuamini for a fee of 80 million euros in June.
Ancelotti said the club would not be looking for an additional midfielder if Casemiro completes his move to United.
“We have alternatives within the team,” he said. “We have a lot of good players who can play in this position. Chuamini is one of the best midfielders in the market right now. Then there is a choice. Toni Krooswho can play in that position, as 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 other players with different characteristics… [AC Milan] Team [Andrea] Pirlo played in that position and did well.”
“If Casemiro goes, we have six midfielders,” Ancelotti added. “[Luka] Modric, Kroos, Chuamini, [Fede] Valverde, Camavinga and [Dani] Ceballos. I think six of them are enough to manage all season.”
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