Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen on luring away Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro in the upcoming summer transfer window. The 24-year old has emerged as a key figure for the Madridistas this season, but could find his head turned towards England, with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea also monitoring him along with Manchester United.
The Brazilian international moved to Madrid in the January of 2013 and worked briefly with Mourinho, before the Portuguese tactician moved back to Chelsea. But now, he is wishing to add the midfield enforcer to his ranks at the Old Trafford.
Casemiro has been a huge influence in the middle of the park for Madrid this term. The Brazilian has featured 24 times for Zinedine Zidane’s side across all competitions, and has netted two strikes along with two assists. But that his not what he is in the team for. His primary is duty is that of a midfield destroyer, who breaks up play in the midfield and stops the opponents from getting on the front foot, which he has performed admirably this season.
He missed a good chunk of games during the months of September till November due to injuries and Madrid struggled to get positive results during that period, highlighting his need for the team. Out of his 24 appearances this term, 13 have come in the Spanish La Liga where he has been earning great plaudits for his work. In such less number of games, Casemiro has attempted a whopping 109 tackles and has come up trumps on 41% of the times, which isn’t a bad return at all. This demonstrates his tenacity and confidence in the centre of the pitch.
Casemiro has also displayed good awareness of situations and reading of the game this season, having made 20 interceptions in his handful of appearances. And it is not just about regaining the ball for him. The 24-year old also possesses a good range of passing and can find his teammates with great accuracy as indicated by the 86% pass success-rate this season.
Someone who has to do the dirty work in the middle of the park, Casemiro has also shown that he is not afraid to bomb forward when needed and his fine volleyed goal against Napoli in the Champions League not so long ago was a fine testament of his technical abilities.
Manchester United have been doing quite well in the recent months, but having sold Morgan Schneiderlin in the January transfer window and the reduced involvement of Bastian Schweinsteiger, they have been left a little short-handed in the midfield department.
While Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba have been performing admirably, the clouds over the future of veteran Michael Carrick, who is in the last few months of his contract with the team, has left fans worried for the upcoming season. If the 35-year old departs from Old Trafford at the end of the season, that would leave Marouane Fellaini as the only backup for Mourinho, which is far from ideal.
Signing Casemiro would provide the Red Devils with the perfect balance in the team. Having him as a cover in the midfield to operate as a shield to the backline would provide Pogba and Herrera the perfect license to get forward more regularly, making the United attack much stronger. He would provide them an advantage in set-piece situations, both in attack and defence, owing to his physical presence. Hence, Casemiro could prove to be immense for United.
His existing contract with Madrid runs till 2021 and could complicate things in any potential move for United. But Casemiro is someone who could solve plenty of problems for the Red Devils and they should pursue their interests for a summer move.