Manchester United are close to agreeing a £59.2m deal for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro but have had a £67.6m bid rejected for Ajax winger Antony.
United are set to pay the Spanish giants an initial £50.7m for Casemiro with £8.5m in add-ons, while the Brazilian has a four-year contract with the option of a further 12 months at Old Trafford on the table.
But the move is unlikely to be completed in time for the 30-year-old to be available for Monday night’s home game against Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, as he requires a visa.
Casemiro is greatly appreciated by Real boss Carlo Ancelotti but he is reportedly not viewed as indispensable given the wealth of options the Champions League holders have in the centre of the pitch.
Luka Modric signed a contract extension to 2023 and Toni Kroos also provides pedigreed experience to mesh with younger talents, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde.
Real cannot guarantee a spread of minutes to Manchester United’s potential new signing. It will be viewed as sensible to get his wages off the books, while banking a big transfer fee, but Real have stressed the final decision is Casemiro’s to make.
United have desperately needed a defensive midfielder for years and the Brazilian offers attributes manager Erik ten Hag does not possess in his squad.
The former Sao Paulo man has played over 300 times for Madrid and has been part of five Champions League successes.
Casemiro is set to become United’s fourth summer signing after the arrivals of Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez.
Man Utd have £67.6m Antony bid rejected
United also want to recruit a forward this summer but they have had a £67.6m bid for winger Antony rejected by Ajax, who want to keep the 22-year-old.
United are deciding whether to make an improved bid, but PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo is seen as a more realistic option.
Any move for the Dutchman will likely happen after PSV’s Champions League qualifier against Rangers on Wednesday.
United’s focus for now however, is on the Casemiro deal and potentially a move for another midfielder.
United remain interested in Caicedo
With two weeks to go until the transfer window closes, Man Utd are looking at other midfield options with a move for Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot now increasingly unlikely due to wage demands. Though, they have increased interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
United are deciding internally whether to formalise the interest given Brighton’s strong “no intention of selling” stance.
The 20-year-old Ecuadorian impressed in Brighton’s 2-1 opening-weekend win at Old Trafford as Graham Potter’s side handed new United boss Erik ten Hag defeat in his first game in charge.
Caicedo only made his Premier League debut for Brighton at Arsenal in April. He has become a first-team regular for Potter having started their last 10 league games and has made 12 appearances in all competitions for the club.
United are long-term admirers of Caicedo – they were looking at signing him when he joined Brighton from Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle in February 2021.
However, Brighton’s transfer policy is that they will only sell at the right time for the right price.
United will have internal discussions about whether to make their interest formal with an official bid.
Caicedo, whose deal at Brighton lasts until the summer of 2025, also scored his first Premier League goal against United in the stunning 4-0 win at the Amex Stadium in May.
In October last year, he became the first player born in the 21st century to score in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying, with a goal in Ecuador’s 4-2 win over Uruguay.
Brighton have already sold two key players to Premier League sides this summer after the departures of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea in a £60m deal and midfielder Yves Bissouma to Tottenham for £35m.
Ronaldo may get Man Utd exit wish | Chelsea, Atleti senior figures unconvinced
Cristiano Ronaldo may be allowed to leave United this month if Ten Hag decides his departure would be better for the club going forward.
United’s position has not changed and Ronaldo is not for sale. He still has a year left on his contract and United have the option of extending it by another 12 months.
Sky Sports News reported on Monday that Atletico Madrid and Chelsea were still two possible destinations for Ronaldo if United change their stance and let him leave.
However, there are senior figures at both clubs who are not convinced they should sign Ronaldo.
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