“I’m highly disappointed in this team. This is what they keep doing every season, and that’s why we cannot compete with the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal. Ten Hag only wants to sign Ajax players, which is very bad,” former Manchester United player, Casemiro, says he is highly disappointed in Ten Hag for not signing the £80m star

2022/23 was Casemiro’s The Stone Roses moment, then 2023/24 was his Second Coming. A difficult second season – or second album as far as Manchester’s own Ian Brown is concerned – which will forever taint the early success in the minds of many.

It’s telling, really, that if Man United announced today that a deal had been agreed to take Casemiro to Saudi Arabia, most would be relieved. A dip in form can be forgiven, especially after so many minutes and so many years at the top level.

A dip in desire, however, not so much. Casemiro has looked like a man uninterested throughout recent months – that Arsenal aberration and his calamitous Crystal Palace display the prime examples – and he now looks like a player ripe for the chop as Ineos begin their gutting of the United squad.

Casemiro wanted £82m star at Manchester United
There are, however, contextual factors to consider. The Athletic reports that Casemiro was concerned about the muscle injuries he picked up last season, including the hamstring strain which kept him out of the FA Cup final. Casemiro had never previously suffered issues like it.

The report adds that the Brazilian was ‘disappointed’ by last summer’s recruitment too. He felt that signing established, elite-level players could have seen United build on 2023’s third place finish. This is no slight of course on Andre Onana, Mason Mount or particularly Rasmus Hojlund.

But Casemiro, having been given assurances that United had their sights firmly set on world-leading talent, he was frustrated to see Harry Kane leave Tottenham Hotspur for Bayern Munich instead. Casemiro reportedly felt Kane would have elevated United’s attack, and he was not the only one in the dressing room hoping to see the England international arrive.

Kane, of course, would go on to score 44 goals in 45 games for Bayern.

Harry Kane prolific at Bayern Munich
Then again, it’s not so simple to say that United stood idly by. Ten Hag has made no secret of his desire to have worked with the former Spurs captain too. But chairman Daniel Levy was never going to let Kane join a direct Premier League rival, with his £82 million switch to Germany about the perfect outcome apart from the one that would have seen the academy graduate perform a dramatic U-turn and stay put.

“You know Harry Kane will get you 30 goals,” Ten Hag, who also wanted Frenkie de Jong and Declan Rice, told Sky Sports, albeit while throwing his support behind the 21-year-old Hojlund.

“I think Rasmus will get there, but he needs time.

“It’s not fair to assess him the same as Harry Kane. I would never compare two players because they are very different.”

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