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Former Ireland striker accuses Casemiro of putting money first in Manchester United deal

Real Madrid's Casemiro celebrates victory during the UEFA Champions League Final at the National Stadium, Cardiff.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro has put money before sport by signing for Manchester United.

That’s the verdict of former Ireland striker John Aldridge, has hit out at the Real Madrid star for ‘selling out’ by signing for Manchester United.

The Old Trafford club have reached agreement for the big-money signing of midfielder Casemiro, adding some much needed quality to a flimsy midfield.

Yet Liverpool goal scoring great Aldridge suggests the Brazilian has put cash ahead of football by agreeing to leave Real Madrid to join United.

"Why would you leave the reigning European champions to join Manchester United at a moment when they are on their knees? Money is the only answer,” Aldridge told sundayworld.com.

"Casemiro is a good player and I didn’t believe it when reports emerged a few days ago saying United were in talks to sign him.

"United are a massive club, but they are at a moment in their history where most top players would run a mile from them.

"They are playing the Europa League, getting hammered by Brentford and the club seems to be in total turmoil.

"The fans are out to get the owners, the players look broken and Casemiro looks at all that and thinks he wants to sign. It makes now sense.

"United have signed a few players in recent years who went there for the money and it didn’t work out too well. There is a danger this could happen again with Casemiro.”

Erik ten Hag’s side have been looking to reinforce their midfield all summer and Brazil international Casemiro emerged this week as their main target.

A statement read: “Manchester United is delighted to announce that the club has reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Casemiro.

“The transfer is subject to the agreement of personal terms, UK visa requirements and a medical.

“Casemiro has played over 500 professional games, including 63 at international level for his native Brazil. He has won 17 major honours in his illustrious career including five Champions League titles and the Copa America.

“We all look forward to welcoming Casemiro to Old Trafford.”

The PA news agency understands the fee is £60million, with a further £10million in success-related add-ons, while the contract is for four years with the option of a further 12 months.

Thirty-year-old Casemiro joined Real from Sao Paulo in 2013 and has been a key figure for the Spanish giants, making more than 300 appearances.

Ten Hag refused to discuss the transfer at his press conference on Friday, but Real boss Carlo Ancelotti was more forthcoming when speaking to the media in Spain.

“I’ve discussed it with (Casemiro) this morning,” the Italian said. “He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity.

“The club understand it. With all he’s done for this club and the person he is, we have to respect it.

“There are talks right now, he’s still a Real Madrid player at this stage, but he wants to leave. If he goes, we have the resources to replace him.

“I haven’t tried to convince him, I just listened, because I have spoken to Casemiro throughout my time here and he has helped us so much. Having heard what he wants, there’s no way back.

“If he doesn’t stay, we’ll have an enormous sense of gratitude to him for all he’s done. We have replacements within the squad.

“(Aurelien) Tchouameni was signed for this position and he’s one of the best central midfielders on the market right now, then we’ve got (Toni) Kroos, who can play in that position too, just like he did in my second year here, and there’s (Eduardo) Camavinga as well.”

Following United’s statement, Real issued their own paying tribute to Casemiro, saying: “Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to Casemiro, who is part of the club’s history.

“On Monday, August 22, at 11:30am, an institutional act of tribute and farewell to Casemiro will take place at Real Madrid City, with the presence of our club president, Florentino Perez. After this ceremony, Casemiro will appear before the media.”

More irons are in the fire as United look to kick-start their ailing campaign at a time of intense pressure on the Glazer family.


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