Manchester United are expected to undergo a busy summer of transfer business as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS look to make their mark at the start of their sporting project. Casemiro is among the big-name players who have been strongly linked with an upcoming Old Trafford exit, and reuniting with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr is a real possibility.
The Brazilian midfielder, who turns 32 next month, has been mooted as one of the Saudi Pro League’s next marquee transfer targets.
He only joined United in a £70million deal from Real Madrid in 2022. However, that transfer reportedly raised eyebrows at INEOS, and they could be happy to cash in this summer if the opportunity to recoup some of his fee arrives.
Casemiro was revolutionary in his first season at the Red Devils, helping Ten Hag make an excellent start to his tenure as manager.
The No. 18 played a crucial role as United finished third in the Premier League and ended their six-year trophy drought by lifting the Carabao Cup last February.
But the club will undoubtedly be looking forward under the watchful eye of Ratcliffe and his INEOS confidants.
And a departure certainly can’t be ruled out, even if Casemiro rediscovers his formidable form once he returns from a lengthy injury in the FA Cup fourth-round clash against Newport County later this month.
According to Foot Mercato, Ronaldo could be the driving force behind the five-time Champions League winner’s exit.
It’s claimed that the 38-year-old has requested that Al-Nassr make a play for Casemiro later this year in the hope of reuniting with his former Real team-mate.
And Casemiro is said to be interested in a Saudi Arabia switch after just two years in Manchester.
He wasn’t near his strongest at the start of the campaign and struggled with Ten Hag’s demands while playing with two advanced midfielders ahead of him.
But the Dutchman highly rates Casemiro and would likely consider a potential move to the Middle East as a significant loss.
Near the end of last season, Ten Hag hailed the serial winner and what he had brought to his rebuild at Old Trafford.
“He’s a massive player. Such a good signing. He adapted so well to Premier League football. He missed many games, and we noticed that,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports after Casemiro scored in a 4-1 win against Chelsea.
“When he’s not there, our game is different. You see how important he is in everything. This week, twice he’s scored. The first goal is always the most important of the game. He’s doing a massive job, and we’re really happy.”
Casemiro’s days in M16 could be numbered, though, and Ronaldo, whose relationship with Ten Hag is frosty, to say the least, could be pulling the strings.