In a recent turn of events, Manchester United have decided to shift their attention to veteran midfielder Casemiro as they continue to fail in their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
According to a report from MARCA, Man United manager, Erik ten Hag has found himself amidst several operational issues. Apart from the obvious Cristiano Ronaldo conundrum, he cannot seems to find the right path to sign a number 6 for his new team.
While he is certain that a midfielder should ideally arrive, there aren’t many options available in the market.
Now, if what Jose Felix Diaz has written for MARCA is to be believed, a few representatives of the Premier League club are already in Madrid as they continue to assess their options before the transfer window slams shut.
United have been drifting in and out over de Jong’s speculation for a long time, and now they have made peace with the fact that the Dutchman is beyond their reach, they are considering Casemiro as a potential reinforcement.
For now, United haven’t approached Real Madrid with a formal offer as they are entangled in signing Adrien Rabiot at the moment. Once that is done, United could move to acquire Casemiro.
As far as Real Madrid are concerned, the management understands Casemiro has the confidence of Carlo Ancelotti. This can be understood by the fact that he clocked a total of 2,838 minutes last season which was more than both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
The only players head of him were Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Vinicius Jr, David Alaba and Karim Benzema.
The situation for the new season, however, could change now that Real have Aurelien Tchouameni in their ranks, which could potentially hamper the Brazilian’s game time and thus give Man United the edge they are looking for.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.