Writing for The Athletic, journalist Laurie Whitewell has revealed that Casemiro’s departure from Santiago Bernabeu wasn’t really a surprise as the Brazilian had asked to leave soon after winning the UEFA Champions League in Paris last season.
Following the humiliating 0-4 defeat to Brentford, which left United reeling at the bottom of the table, a Manchester United delegation was sent to Madrid to negotiate a deal for the Brazilian.
United’s decision to move their attention to Casemiro came after the deal for Adrien Rabiot collapsed. It is even claimed that the Premier League side had settled on a fee, but the player’s wage demand took the deal south.
This was when Casemiro became a reality for Manchester United. Three days after the Brentford defeat, the Manchester United representatives flew to Madrid to set up a meeting with Casemiro.
Interestingly enough, talks concluded within 24 hours and unlike what’s been said in Spain, Manchester United did not actually double his salary. In fact, the Brazil international only received a slight raise.
Furthermore, his contract with United includes a potential cut down as well, but that will only be activated if the record Premier League champions fail to qualify for next year’s UEFA Champions League.
What worked in United’s favour during the talk was Casemiro’s appeal to take a new challenge. The 30-year-old had first asked Madrid president Florentino Perez to let him leave after the UCL triumph and repeated his wish upon returning from holiday.
Madrid were initially reluctant, but as the player continued to push, the defending La Liga champions agreed and the player’s agent informed United to carry on with the formalities.
Whitewell also writes that all this was done while United continue to pursue a certain Frenkie de Jong. Any deal for the Dutchman, however, was costing United over €150 million which included transfer fee and wages over four years combined.
But as soon as Casemiro was acquired, the interest in de Jong cooled and everyone involved carried on.
Benfica have no interest in selling Real Madrid’s midfield target in January – report
Real Madrid’s interest in Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez is now a well-known fact.
As quoted before, the 21-year-old has a release clause worth €120 million in his current deal and despite strong interest from several suitors, the Portuguese side has no interest in parting ways with the player in January.
The aforementioned information is relayed by transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, who also claims that Fernandez’s former side, River Plate, also have a ‘percentage of future sale’.
Enzo Fernandez has been one of the breakout stars at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The 21-year-old has played three games for his national team at the world event and despite playing deep, has returned with a goal and an assist.
Interestingly enough, the 2022/23 season is Fernandez’s first campaign in European football. The midfielder has been with River Plate since 2006 and only moved to Benfica in July 2022 for a fee quoted to be around €10 million plus €8 million in add-ons.
In his debut season with the Portuguese team, he has so far scored one goal in 13 league outings followed by three assists.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s interest in the Argentine does not really strike as any surprise. The team from the capital city is anyway looking for a long-term successor to Luka Modric, but as it turns out, Benfica will fight hard to retain their man as they do not wish to sell their asset in January.
From Madrid’s perspective, they are anyway not expected to make any big signing in January as their primary target is still Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The England midfielder is highly tipped to leave Germany at the end of the season and Madrid are said to be the most likely destination if not the Premier League.
In any way, the fee for Bellingham might as well rise upto €120 million given the interest he has generated across the continent so it will be upto Real Madrid to decide between the two.