With Manchester United still searching for a midfielder into August, attentions were turned to Real Madrid's Casemiro, eventually signing the Brazilian for around £60m.
Original article published 29 August 2022
The Adrien Rabiot deal appears to be off, and with Frenkie de Jong no closer to signing, we've taken a closer look at the five-time Champions League winner.
Casemiro has been deployed as the holding midfielder in a three, supporting the creative Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Erik ten Hag seems more keen for a traditional number 6 to play in a two-man midfield, and it may be that Casemiro makes the switch from playing in a midfield trio to a midfield duo.
Although entrusted with a holding role in Madrid, the Brazilian has the physical attributes to get around the field, and could be used as a box-to-box midfielder.
Over the last few years, Casemiro has established himself as one of the elite defensive midfielders in world football. While individual accolades are reserved for the more eye-catching Kroos and Modric, it's widely accepted that without Casemiro as the anchor in midfielder, Real Madrid wouldn't have enjoyed as much success as they have in recent years.
Zinedine Zidane said: "It's clear that perhaps in the position of Casemiro there is no one exactly like him."
Before the 2016 Champions League final, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone said: "For the balance of the team, he is without a doubt their most important player. He has changed the face of Madrid."
Not too unsurprising for a defensive midfielder, Casemiro has picked up 66 bookings in seven full seasons in La Liga, averaging around 10 per campaign, but has only received two red cards, both of which were second yellows.
Casemiro is 30, and will turn 31 in February next year.
Casemiro is 1.85m, or 6ft1.
Casemiro has played 63 times for the Brazil senior team, and was a key member of the first team in the 2018 World Cup and their 2019 Copa America victory.
Reports suggests Real Madrid are demanding a fee of around £50m-£60m, while Manchester United would also likely double the Brazilian's wages from around £180,000 a week to £350,000 a week.