Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Cristiano Ronaldo orders Al-Nassr to sign Man Utd enforcer who’s becoming ‘interested’ in Saudi switch

Casemiro linked with Al Nassr

Casemiro could leave Man Utd to reunite with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al Nassr

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has become a target for Al-Nassr, since the Saudi Pro League side are ready to offload one of their most high-profile recruits from 2023 in his position.

That’s according to Foot Mercato, which claims that former Man Utd forward Cristiano Ronaldo – who was the first big signing for Al-Nassr and, indeed, the whole Saudi Pro League, last year – has advised his current club to try and sign his ex-Real Madrid teammate.

Casemiro is facing an uncertain future at Man Utd, where his signing from Real Madrid in the summer of 2022 has been scrutinised by incoming investor, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Despite still being under contract until 2026, Casemiro is not viewed as a long-term solution for Man Utd in defensive midfield.

If they are to offload him in 2024, the Saudi Pro League seems like his most likely destination. Now, Al-Nassr have been pinpointed by Foot Mercato as his precise potential next club.

The report claims Al-Nassr have listened to Ronaldo’s advice and want to make an effort to sign Casemiro, who would supposedly be ‘interested’ in the challenge of playing in Saudi Arabia.

Spaces for foreigners in the Al-Nassr squad are currently at their limit, but a potential departure from their ranks might pave the way for Casemiro to occupy one.

It is claimed that Seko Fofana – who helped Lens qualify for the Champions League last season and was in high demand before surprisingly leaving European football behind – has been told he is free to leave Al-Nassr in January.

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Surprise cross-Saudi switch would open door for Casemiro move

Unsurprisingly, interest is building in Fofana, who is currently representing host nation Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Perhaps the surprising element is that his next club could still be in the Saudi Pro League, since he is being tipped to replace Jordan Henderson at Al-Ettifaq or join Al-Shabab if Jose Mourinho becomes their manager.

Whatever the outcome for Fofana, the freedom Al-Nassr would then have to sign another foreign player could prompt them to bid for Casemiro.

Alternatively, Ronaldo’s side could use the extra spot for a foreigner to reinstate David Ospina to their squad, since the former Arsenal goalkeeper was omitted while injured.

But the interest in exploring a transfer for Casemiro has been established and will be worth keeping an eye on, especially while Man Utd wonder if he still has a future at Old Trafford.

Casemiro would bring some title-winning experience to Al-Nassr as they aim for top spot in the Saudi Pro League, largely thanks to his impressive list of honours from his time with Real Madrid, most of which were collected in the same team as Ronaldo.

Currently, Al-Nassr are second in the Saudi Pro League, seven points behind leaders Al Hilal. Thus, there may be a belief that adding Casemiro mid-season could help them close the gap.

They would be interrupting a season in which he has made 12 appearances and scored four goals for Man Utd, but he hasn’t played in the Premier League since October due to injury.

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