Man Utd perform U-turn on signing second midfielder after Casemiro as transfer clock ticks


Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag had hoped to sign a second midfielder after Casemiro but is now willing to settle with what he’s already got, reports say. The Red Devils landed the Brazil international from Real Madrid in a huge £60million deal earlier in the summer. He made his debut at the weekend, coming off the bench in a 1-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s.

Manchester United made Casemiro their fourth signing earlier in the month, with the 30-year-old joining from Real Madrid after the club failed to recruit Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong.

Yet the Telegraph claim that, initially, Ten Hag wanted a second midfielder to accompany the Samba star.

United duo Scott McTominay and Fred remain inconsistent, James Garner has been surprisingly deemed surplus to requirements, while Donny van de Beek has started just four Premier League matches for the Red Devils in two years.

However, the publication says that ‘given the expenditure it is unlikely he will be able to make the right calibre of signing’.

Ten Hag has repeatedly stressed United need the right players to fit into his project, with the club guilty of making adding the wrong reinforcements to their squad since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

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Marouane Fellaini was a dependable asset but the Belgium international was never of the right quality to play for such a big club.

Morgan Schneiderin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Daley blind were all recruited when Louis van Gaal ruled the roost.

However, the trio never lived up to expectations before being flogged to Everton, Chicago Fire and Ajax respectively.

United were convinced they’d struck gold when they re-signed Paul Pogba from Juventus in the summer transfer window of 2016, shortly after Jose Mourinho’s appointment.

But while the France international had some memorable moments in a red shirt, he failed to live up to his blockbuster billing.

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Nemanja Matic was recruited from Chelsea in 2017, having previously worked with Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and with a deal for Eric Dier deemed impossible at the time.

And though the Serbia international was popular at the club, some would argue his best years were spent in the capital instead.

Fred is yet to come good following his arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk four years ago, while Van de Beek remains an enigma after his move in 2020.

Casemiro has been brought in to add steel and experience to Ten Hag’s team.

And Rio Ferdinand, speaking earlier in the month, praised the club’s decision to sign the Brazil international – despite admitting he’s overpriced at £60m.

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“Wow, listen man… that’s the type of player Man United need, the type of character Man United need more than anything,” he said on his YouTube channel.

“He’s the type of person, individual. Is he overpriced? Yes.

“The positives I’ll start with. First and foremost, the guy’s a real winner, he knows how to win, he’s been integral in everything positive about Real Madrid in recent years.

“[He has been] one of the main guys alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema.’

“When the big games come along, this guy performs. He knows what he’s doing, he’s there.

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“There’s no thrills with him. He isn’t a stepover merchant, he isn’t a skills man, he isn’t someone who wants to get the fans off their seats with a bit of skill.

“He’s there to do a job that means that the team are better off, they run more efficiently, they’re going to have a chance of winning because he’s in the team.

“He’s first and foremost a team football player, which I love about him. If there’s a battle, he’s a man you want on your side.”

Casemiro will be hoping to feature when United face off against Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Thursday (8pm).

The Red Devils lost 4-2 in the same fixture last term, with Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on target as they slipped to defeat.

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