Manchester United decided to pursue former Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro after it became clear that Frenkie de Jong was unwilling to join.
United’s pursuit of the 30-year-old was also motivated by a failure to get Adrien Rabiot.
Laurie Whitwell, in response to questions posed to The Athletic by United fans, revealed that Casemiro was however not a panic-buy, with lines of communication to the player being open throughout the transfer window.
“Casemiro’s possible availability had been communicated to United at the start of the window.”
“The player and his representatives were kept engaged with dialogue thereafter until a delegation flew to Madrid to conclude transfer fee and personal terms in 24 hours following the Brentford defeat.”
On being quizzed if keeping James Garner would have offset the need for Casemiro, “Whether Garner should have stayed over him is a contentious argument to make. Casemiro has won five Champions League titles and 63 caps for Brazil – he improves the United squad, even if that comes at a significant cost.”
“Garner is a developing player, with one good Championship season to date.”
As we have reported here before, Whitwell also confirmed that Garner’s departure to Everton was sanctioned by Ten Hag, who did not believe he had what it took to make it at Old Trafford.
“After several coaching sessions, Ten Hag ruled that Garner would not break through at United and the club decided it was better to sell now.”
On whether the academy graduate should have gone on loan to raise his value as opposed to an immediate direct sale, he said “Another loan could have raised his value had it gone well, but the opposite is also true.”
“There are numerous examples of United players drifting after temporary moves. Tahith Chong being sold for an initial £1.45m, after loans at Werder Bremen, Club Brugge and Birmingham City, is an example.”
While there are numerous supporters who are still yet to come to terms with the permanent sale of Garner, Whitwell raises a valid point on why a loan spell was overlooked. It would have also been wrong to keep such a young player on the bench, limited to a bit-part role in such a crucial phase of his development.
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