Carlos Henrique Casemiro, the lower vertex of the Bermuda Triangle on which one of Real Madrid's most glorious eras has been built, is these days, at 30 years old, facing what may be the last great temptation of his life .
After the initial work of the intermediaries, Manchester United has sent John Murtough, its director of football, to Madrid to try to persuade him to move to the Premier, that is, to see it as a seductive opportunity to join the club from which Cristiano Ronaldo tries to run away as if the place were on fire.
The task no longer seems impossible.
The perspectives of the English club improved with the hours.
On Tuesday they saw it as a distant aspiration.
However, already in Madrid, they perceived a clearer picture.
Yesterday morning, United sources conveyed some optimism and admitted more openly that Casemiro had become a priority target.
Bermuda's resistance: Casemiro defends his triangle with Kroos and Modric in Helsinki
United are desperate after their horrific start to the season: they lost on matchday one against Brighton (1-2) and on Saturday against Brentford (4-0).
And at Real Madrid they consider that it would not be the worst time to lose the Brazilian.
Meanwhile, the footballer's environment let the story run.
Casemiro weighed the situation.
United offered him to shoot up to around double his salary, which is now around five million euros net per year, the ninth record in the squad.
In addition, he put on the table an agreement of up to five years, when the one he has in Madrid, extended in 2021, has three seasons left, until June 2025.
There is at least one other factor in the Brazilian's musings, according to Valdebebas sources, the idea that “his time at Madrid is over”.
Casemiro has won five Champions Leagues with Madrid, and in recent years he has hardly had any real competition in his position, an issue that when he has been injured or suspended has been a problem for the team.
All those who approached his domains succumbed, but this summer Aurelién Tchouameni arrived at the club at the age of 22, perhaps the midfielder most destined to take his place, and also after a formidable outlay, up to 100 million euros.
Since signing the Frenchman, Carlo Ancelotti has been especially affectionate with Casemiro, with whom he has a very close relationship.
He has also supported him in public, especially the night they won the European Super Cup in Helsinki and the Brazilian was named man of the match: "I didn't ask him if Tchouameni's arrival had stung him," he said.
“Tchouameni is going to learn a lot and is going to improve a lot with Casemiro”.
The Brazilian followed that line: “he is going to be an important player.
I haven't been stung."
In the club's offices they assured yesterday afternoon that they had not received any formal offer from United for Casemiro, but they are aware of the tenor of the open conversations with the player, who was willing to weigh the proposal.
Another source with access to the locker room says that, although not formally, the message has been received that the English club is willing to offer 70 million euros for the footballer.
Neither De Jong nor Rabiot
United spent many weeks trying to close the hiring of Barcelona player Frenkie de Jong, whom Joan Laporta was willing to sell since the operation would help correct the serious problems that the Barça club had, and still has, with the salary limit .
However, the Dutchman insists on not leaving the Camp Nou, and if he did, according to sources familiar with the conversations, he would want to avoid going to Old Trafford.
With that option blocked and with serious problems in midfield, Murtough then embarked on the path of Adrien Rabiot, although this time he ended up crashing with the exorbitant demands of his agent and mother, Veronique.
Aware of the urgencies of the English, he fired his requests and United gave that way for dead.
Also because the performance data they handled from Rabiot was lower than what they had observed in Casemiro.
Nor have the replacements that seem most suitable, Tchouameni and Camavinga, yet reached him, as Ancelotti explained on Sunday after the game against Almería: “On an emotional level, the game weighed on them a bit.
They today have not shown the quality that is seen in training.
It is quite normal, they are very young and the shirt is heavy”.
The coaching staff believes that they could use a transition time with the Brazilian.
However, the decision on Casemiro's fate does not go through the Italian's office.
It begins with the footballer's dilemma, and continues in the offices of Valdebebas, where they have already seen how the departures of Varane and Sergio Ramos, for example, left hardly any scratches, but rather opened the way to generational succession: Militão is younger than French and Alaba less than Spanish.
Casemiro has been presented with a temptation that is a crossroads.
Despite the importance of the dilemma, in Madrid they believe that the resolution will be quick.
They point out, again, the urgencies of United, who on Monday at 9:00 p.m. receive Liverpool at Old Trafford and need to offer some hope to their people.
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