Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they will land Real Madrid star Casemiro, GOAL understands. Significant progress has been made in their pursuit of the Brazil midfielder, who is expected to cost around £60 million ($72m).
Erik ten Hag turned his attention to the five-time Champions League winner after growing frustrated by the failure to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils also pulled out of a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot this week because of the France international's personal demands.
A deal is getting closer
The move for Casemiro was originally described as a "long shot" from Manchester United insiders - but such has been the rapid progress this week that there is now strong belief he will head to Old Trafford.
Casemiro is said to be keen on a move to the club after seeing Real Madrid sign Aurelien Tchouameni this summer - an implicit message that his days at the Santiago Bernabeu may be numbered.
The 30-year-old has won everything with the Spanish giants and is believed to be relishing a new challenge in the Premier League.
Real Madrid are also said to accept his desire to leave.
As things stand, sources have confirmed to GOAL that the midfielder is weighing up the positives and negatives of a potential move to Old Trafford.
On one hand, Man Utd would offer him a new challenge in his career while, on the other, that challenge would not come with Champions League football.
The Brazilian, though, doesn't want to mull over the decision for too long as a final decision is expected soon.
What about De Jong?
De Jong has been Ten Hag's priority target all summer - and the Manchester United manager was convinced he would be reunited with the player he worked with at Ajax.
But despite Manchester United agreeing a fee worth up to £71 million ($85m) with Barcelona, De Jong's reluctance to leave Camp Nou has proved a major obstacle.
While Ten Hag's interest in De Jong is not officially over, Casemiro is seen a world class alternative to the Netherlands international who perfectly fits the club's need for more muscle in the midfield.
The move for Casemiro is expected to spark a flurry of activity from Manchester United in the final days of the transfer window.
Ten Hag would ideally like two midfielders, with Brighton's Moises Caicedo also of interest.
The Red Devils also want to bolster their attack and are considering a fresh move for Ajax winger Antony, while Ten Hag has made a case for Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech as well.
If Cristiano Ronaldo leaves, the club would also need a replacement for him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka could head to Crystal Palace for £10 million, which would pave the way for a new right-back, while cover for David de Gea is also desired.