Manchester United 'plot' shock £40m transfer for Premier League star to replace Casemiro

The Man Utd midfielder could be one of several summer exits as Erik ten Hag rebuilds his squad.

Manchester United will be in the market for midfield reinforcements this summer and reports suggest they are 'weighing up' a move for Wolves star Joao Gomes.

Erik ten Hag is keen to sign a new holding midfielder amid concerns over the longevity of current first-choice Casemiro. The Brazilian turned 32 last month and has struggled with injury issues all season, most recently missing Sunday's 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool due to a persistent hamstring issue.

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Casemiro has also been forced to withdraw from international duty with Brazil and The Mirror reports that his potential replacement could also come in to succeed him at Old Trafford. Gomes, 23, could win his first cap when Brazil face England at Wembley on Saturday and United are said to have been long-time admirers.

Scouts are thought to have been in attendance at multiple Wolves games over the season, including a 2-1 win for Gary O'Neil's side over Fulham earlier this month. Just like the Brazilian national team, it seems they see Gomes as the long-term successor to Casemiro but a move will not come cheap.

Wolves signed Gomes from Flamengo in January 2023 and tied him down to a five-and-a-half-year contract that can be extended for a further 12 months. They paid £12million just over a year ago but already value their man at around £40m. There is also the added threat of competition from Premier League rivals, namely Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United.

After spending the second-half of last season on the fringes of first-team football, Gomes has been a regular starter at Molineux this season and won the trust of O'Neil. Nicknamed 'The Pitbull' back in Brazil, the combative midfielder has been key to his side's excellent campaign, with standout performances coming against Manchester City and Spurs.

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Casemiro will still have two years left on his contract come summer and there is hope that the former Real Madrid man could still bring in a decent fee, particularly if last year's Saudi Pro League interest resurfaces. It is unlikely United will recoup close to the £70m they spent on the midfielder but his exit could well fund a move for Gomes.

Should Casemiro move on, then it is likely United will only have 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo as a natural option in defensive midfield. Sofyan Amrabat is currently on loan from Fiorentina but an option to make that move permanent does not look like being activated, given he is barely starting.

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