Manchester United have found a hurdle in the closing stages of their deal to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid. The Brazilian was supposed to be unveiled by Erik ten Hag and co before Monday night’s game against Liverpool, but visa complications are poised to postpone his arrival at Old Trafford.
On Friday, Manchester United announced that they had agreed on an agreement in principle with Real Madrid for Casemiro. That was the reason for joy among Red Devils supporters, who had to endure months of unsuccessful discussions with Barcelona for fellow midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Casemiro’s signing will fill a critical void in Ten Hag’s squad, and a good midfield presence should help to steady the ship following a rocky start to the season. Many would like him to start against Liverpool on Monday, but according to The Athletic, visa concerns will prevent him from even sitting in the stands.
It was reported that United intended to announce him before kick-off against Liverpool in order to bolster fan morale. They did the same thing with Raphael Varane when he arrived from Real Madrid last summer.
However, Casemiro’s arrival appears to be on hold, with a trip to Southampton set to be his debut next Saturday. Ten Hag will be hoping that the 30-year-defensive old’s abilities free up Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes while also giving extra cover for a weak backline.
United fans may be aiming for damage limitation against Liverpool after their bitter rivals went out 5-0 winners in the previous season’s match. The Red Devils have already struggled this season, with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford dropping them to the bottom of the table.
To counteract this, the board appears to have stepped up its transfer activity, with reports circulating that an attacker and a right-back could be added before the September 1 deadline. Sergino Dest has been mentioned as a possible full-back, but the more immediate issue is up top, where Ajax legend Antony is one of Ten Hag’s primary objectives.
The Brazilian refused to exercise with his teammates on Friday and Saturday, prompting Ajax to withdraw him from their roster to face Sparta Rotterdam. United’s last £67.6 million proposal was rejected, but Ajax’s board is allegedly debating prices they would be ready to accept for Antony.
“From what I’ve seen and read about Antony, he’s an exciting, talented player who’s done well at Ajax,” former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick told Caught Offside. “It might make sense for Ten Hag to bring in players he knows and trusts, which could assist ensure the locker room is behind you, as I’ve indicated.”
“Obviously, there are players in that position – Elanga, Rashford, and Sancho, who is in great form now and appears to have a bright future.” But you can never have too many fantastic players, so if Antony comes in, I’m sure everyone at the club will be entirely supportive.”