£60m Man Utd star touted as replacement for Newcastle target; Ten Hag to ‘block January exit’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd duo Ten Hag and Casemiro
Erik ten Hag alongside Casemiro.

According to reports, Ruben Neves is ‘open’ to joining Newcastle United and Manchester United star Casemiro could replace him at Al-Hilal.

Newcastle are expected to sign a new centre-midfielder during the upcoming January transfer window as they need to find a replacement for Sandro Tonali, who is out for the rest of this season as a result of a betting ban.

Man City’s Kalvin Phillips and Man Utd’s Scott McTominay have been mentioned as possible targets but Neves, who left Wolves to sign Al-Hilal in the summer, is reportedly also being targeted.

Newcastle and Saudi Pro League clubs are both funded by PIF and Premier League teams are set to vote on a proposal to ban clubs from signing players on loan from associated clubs. If approved, this would prohibit them from signing Neves.

Despite this, journalist Ben Jacobs claims the Portugal international ‘is open to a loan move’ to the Magpies.

His report added: “Deal could even have an option to buy. Nothing clearer until after the EPL vote on November 21 regarding associated party transactions. Al-Hilal could look at Casemiro in 2024 and are also one club considering Jadon Sancho.”

Casemiro enjoyed a stellar debut season for the Red Devils in 2022/23 following his £60m move from Spanish giants Real Madrid but he has struggled during the early months of this campaign.

Antony is another recent Man Utd signing who has been in poor form of late and he has been linked with a shock move to Brazilian outfit Flamengo. 

The winger is unlikely to leave in January, though. Football Insider are reporting that head coach Erik ten Hag will ‘block’ him from exiting and Man Utd are ‘not ready to give up on winger Antony by allowing him to leave in the January transfer window’. They explain.

‘The 23-year-old has been widely linked with an Old Trafford exit in the near future.

‘A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Man United boss Erik ten Hag remains a “huge fan” of the Brazil international.

‘It is believed he is not ready to let Antony leave in January – just 18 months after spending a reported £85million to land him.’

Ex-United star Mikael Silvestre reckons Antony is “very emotional” and needs “more time” to prove himself at Old Trafford. 

“I would give Antony more time because I think the off-the-pitch matters have influenced his performances. You can tell he’s very emotional,” Silvestre said.

“When he first came, he scored a few goals. I think he has the ability. It’s not a question of that. He has to get back to business, so I think he needs more time.”

FEATURE: Premier League winners and losers… Van Dijk, Villa and Man Utd in form as De Zerbi spouts nonsense