MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United completed the signing of Casemiro for a reported $60 million on Monday, hours after the Brazil international made an emotional departure from Real Madrid after nine years at the Spanish club.
The 30-year-old Casemiro has signed a contract until 2026, with the option of a further year.
He was presented to United’s fans on the field at Old Trafford ahead of the Premier League game against Liverpool.
“I’m ending one beautiful journey in Madrid whilst starting another in Manchester,” Casemiro said in a United statement, “as determined as ever to win football matches, win trophies and make our fans proud by bringing success to this great club.”
United has been looking to sign a defensive midfielder during this transfer window and has been closely linked with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
Casemiro is older than De Jong but has the experience of winning five Champions League titles and playing 63 times for Brazil.
“Casemiro is a serial winner and one of the best midfielders in world football; his exceptional record speaks for itself,” said John Murtough, United’s football director.
“He complements the skillsets of the squad and will be a great addition to the dressing room with his experience, knowledge and character.”
Earlier Monday, Casemiro held a news conference in Madrid, saying it was “the hardest decision of my life” to leave the team he joined in 2013 from São Paulo.
It was an emotional farewell for Casemiro, who felt his cycle with the Spanish club ended after the team won the Champions League last season.
“It’s always hard to make such an important decision in your life, it’s always difficult, but when the Champions League final ended, I spoke with my agent and told him that I had the feeling that my cycle here had ended,” he said.
Casemiro couldn’t hold back tears at times.
“What I have won here is not going to change, but there in Manchester I haven’t won anything and I’m to try to help the club as I did here,” Casemiro said. “I’m going with all the motivation in the world.”
Casemiro said his move to United, where he joins former Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, was not motivated by money.
“Those who think that don’t know me,” he said. “If money was the issue, I would have left four or five years ago. This club has always been very good to me. I really like the Premier League and wanted to play there.”
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