Man Utd put Barcelona transfer ‘in danger’ as Ten Hag eyes ‘perfect solution’ in January

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Guido Rodriguez
Guido Rodriguez has been linked with a transfer.

Manchester United could strike a blow to Barcelona’s transfer plans as they hope to sign Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez, according to reports.

Casemiro, who the Red Devils bought from Real Madrid for £70m in the summer of 2022 and plays in Rodriguez’s position, has started eight of their 11 Premier League matches so far this season.

However, the Brazilian – who had a good first season at Old Trafford – has been very underwhelming in midfield for Man Utd this term.

The stats have shown that Casemiro has been too easily dribbled past by opponents this season and there have been calls for Man Utd to bring in another midfielder in the winter transfer window.

Gary Neville explained back in March on The Overlap that the signing of Casemiro was “not a smart” signing from Man Utd despite his good 2022/23 campaign.

Neville said: “Casemiro, there’s no doubt – we all said it by the way – £60m? £70m? And £20m-a-year [contract] for five years is a £170m investment.

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“That is a massive investment. It’s not a smart or shrewd signing when you look at it from a [big picture] point of view. None of us thought that.”

And the 31-year-old was told in the Red Devils’ embarrassing 3-1 home defeat to Brighton earlier in the season that he “looked like he was 45” against the Seagulls midfield.

Former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor said: “Casemiro…. Casemiro looked like he was 45 running around that midfield. He had to bring him off on the 65th minute for Hannibal, a young lad, because he was that bad.”

And now Spanish publication Nacional insists that Man Utd are looking for a replacement for Casemiro – who is one of the highest paid players in the Premier League – as Ten Hag looks to upgrade his midfield ‘pivot’.

The report claims that Man Utd have put Barcelona’s transfer plans ‘in danger’ as they consider a move for Argentina international Rodriguez, who is having an impressive season at Real Betis.

Barca are also looking for a midfielder ‘who can provide defensive balance’ and the Catalan giants are ‘thinking about signing’ Rodriguez.

It is understood that it is the player’s ‘desire’ to join Barcelona at the moment but interest from elsewhere risks the La Liga side’s ability to be able to afford a deal.

Man Utd have 29-year-old Rodriguez ‘on their list of objectives’ with Casemiro’s performances ‘plummeting’ and the Argentine could be the ‘perfect solution to fill this role’.