Manchester United dropped a transfer bombshell this summer when they signed Casemiro from Real Madrid for a transfer fee that could rise up to £70 million with add-ons.
While the Brazilian was still an important part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side and played his part in last season’s Champions League triumph, that kind of an offer was too good to turn down for a 30-year-old defensive midfielder.
Casemiro’s exit has allowed Aurelien Tchouameni to flourish and while it may sound extraordinary, but Real Madrid have not felt the absence of the 5-time Champions League winner yet.
On the other hand, Casemiro has not made the brightest start at Manchester United as it looks like Erik ten Hag is still trying to figure out his best role in that team. The Brazilian made his first start for the Red Devils this midweek, in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad in the Europa League.
And Gary Neville believes that Casemiro was not in the original summer plans for Manchester United and was a ‘panic-buy’. As reported by The Sun, he said on The Overlap:
Manchester United wanted to spend about £130m-£140m, they ended up spending £230m.
“Obviously we’ve seen it before with the Glazer family – loads of trouble, protests building, invest the money to try and appease the fans and basically panic-buy.
“The Casemiro and Antony bids came in two days before the Liverpool game, which was obviously a moment where they just needed to get players in.
“It wasn’t the strategy at the start of the summer to spend the money they’ve spent.”
Manchester United legend does not believe the club originally planned to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid this summer
It remains to be seen how Casemiro will fit in at Manchester United. These are still early days and one would expect him to eventually establish himself as a starter.
The club have made a significant outlay in bringing him in from Real Madrid, especially for someone who is 30 years of age. As a result, they are expected to be looking for a return on their investment.
To be fair to Neville, Casemiro’s Real Madrid exit did come completely out of the blue and not many people were expecting that he would leave the club this summer. Thus, it could very well have been a ‘panic-buy’ on the part of Manchester United