‘He wanted to know three things before signing’ – how Casemiro was convinced by Manchester United
It was hard to believe when Manchester United first mentioned Casemiro. With the Brazilian in the middle, their confidence has returned.
When considering a transfer, communication might be difficult, especially if the player is not fluent in the language.
Whenever Casemiro gave Manchester United a virtual audience over the course of nearly three months, it was usually via FaceTime, with translators on both sides.
Casemiro was encouraged by the personal video calling method to request a video of the gym at United’s Carrington training site. So a United employee was dispatched through the main building’s complex corridors and downstairs to film the big gym and email the file to Casemiro’s agent Oscar Ribot.
According to a Google image search, United’s gym appears to be housed in an enlarged school assembly hall. Cristiano Ronaldo was correct when he stated United “stopped on a clock,” and Carrington is no longer best-in-class 23 years after its doors initially opened.
The vast gym is still fit for an upper-tier Premier League club, and an adjoining recovery area is set to be renovated. The video was approved by Casemiro.
The gym setting was crucial to the Brazilian, as United had learned from Real Madrid sources that it was not uncommon to see Casemiro exercising weights as early as 8 a.m. at their Valdebebas headquarters.
A huge screen in Carrington’s hall displays data from the previous day’s sessions. Until strength and conditioning coach Michael Clegg put an end to such frivolities, the gym could have been mistaken for an indoor concert venue with the screen playing music videos.
As their conversations developed, Casemiro told United football director John Murtough that he just needed to know three things: where he lived, where he trained, and where he played. United was confident they had signed a leader.
According to sources, Casemiro emanates a quiet authority. He made his debut in the 80th minute against Southampton but told Lisandro Martinez to forget about playing out from the back as United defended a 1-0 lead. Casemiro’s grin was as wide as it had been five days before when he left St Mary’s to cheers that could have made the bells of the adjoining church ring.
Casemiro was the most outspoken in chastising Marcus Rashford for swerving into oncoming traffic in San Sebastian. Rashford has not always been open to constructive criticism, but he should be when it comes from a man who has won the European Cup in five different locations.
Casemiro’s integration was gradual, due to Erik ten Hag’s reluctance, two postponements due to the Queen’s death, and an international fortnight, which delayed his full Premier League debut by seven weeks. Casemiro’s running figures were lower than Scott McTominay’s, according to agency sources, and the Scot started ahead of Casemiro in five of the first six games he was available for.
The gap between the two midfielders has been obvious since Casemiro set up Ronaldo for his final Premier League goal at Goodison Park. The majority of the United players rushed to Casemiro, demonstrating the esteem in which he is held. United has only lost one of Casemiro’s last ten starts.
United is satisfied not only with Casemiro’s effect but also with how his move came about. They kept it quiet until a week before the interest was revealed when a report in Spain emerged in the aftermath of United’s generational nadir at Brentford. The timing, combined with United’s proclivity for reactive market movement, made the first link seem improbable.
Casemiro must have enjoyed Manchester United’s desperation to sign him as much as Real Madrid must have appreciated the £60 million sum. According to a source close to Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, Casemiro’s move to Manchester United does not worry him. The Madrid midfield had been strengthened by the £85.3 million signing of Aurelien Tchouameni, a midfielder who an ex-Manchester United scout believed was not good enough. With Ronaldo considering a move to Saudi Arabia, Casemiro is United’s highest earning.
He turns 31 in February, and there are signs that the Premier League is taxing his joints. He collapsed to his knees in the center circle to celebrate Bruno Fernandes’ winner at Tottenham and Alejandro Garnacho’s winner at Fulham, with an empathetic Raphael Varane helping him from the ground after the former.
It can’t be a coincidence that Ten Hag has waxed lyrical about his former Real Madrid teammate more than Varane. The evening before United’s final Europa League group game against Real Sociedad, Casemiro and Ten Hag sat next to each other in the Reale Arena. Even with two distinct languages and headset translations, mutual respect was obvious.
“”He told me when we initially talked that he needs a new challenge because he won everything with Real Madrid,” Ten Hag added. He was an important member of Real Madrid. They still don’t want him to leave, but he had the feeling he needed to go to another club, another league to establish himself, and it shows his hunger, which I like.”
“I feel that knowing or, after being in football for quite a time, despite the fact that I am only 30, [Ten Hag’s] obsession with winning is what astonished me the most,” Casemiro admitted. In three consecutive press briefings, Ten Hag referred to Casemiro as the “cement between the stones.”
Casemiro is not yet proficient in English, but assistant manager Mitchell van der Gaag has overcome the language barrier thanks to his wife, whom he met while playing for Maritimo in Funchal.
Four United players featured in Brazil’s triumph against Switzerland, including loanee Alex Telles. The chefs in the luxury Carrington canteen have noticed the Brazilian flavor in the squad and have added Brazilian cuisine to the menu for Casemiro, Fred, and Antony. Because of its frequency, non-Portuguese speakers in the United squad have tried it before booking at Fazenda.
Mark Ferendenus, Alec Wylie, and Ian Buckingham endear themselves to players of all cultures, and they have a special affinity with the Brazilians, fostered by the Da Silva twins and Anderson. They are not the only ones who have had difficulty understanding the Mancunian twang.
Whatever the obstacles, Casemiro is up for them.