Raphinha picks out one Man Utd star he wants Barcelona to sign in controversial choice

Joe Williams
Raphinha talks about Man Utd

Raphinha admits he would “like to have” Man Utd midfielder Casemiro on his team at Barcelona ahead of their match against the Red Devils on Thursday.

The Brazilian left Leeds United in the summer to move to Barcelona for £55m with a number of other clubs interested in his signature.

He will face a Premier League side in a competitive fixture for the first time since leaving Leeds when Man Utd travel to the Camp Nou for their Europa League clash on Thursday.

In the build-up to the fixture, Raphinha has selected Real Madrid legend Casemiro as the Man Utd player he’d like to sign if he could bring one star to join him at Barcelona.

“Man, Casemiro is a player that I always talk about to my friends and family,” Raphinha told ESPN Brazil. “He’s a player that I’d particularly like to have on my team.

“In addition to the experience he has in football and all the things he has achieved in football, he’s a great leader, he’s a great person, and he manages to complete a team with the quality he has.

“For me, he’s one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.”

Barcelona boss Xavi was full of compliments ahead of the match against Man Utd in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

The Spaniard has been impressed by how Erik ten Hag has turned around fortunes at Old Trafford this season and he appreciates the Dutchman’s offensive style of play.

Xavi said: “Ten Hag is a great coach. In my mind I believe that somehow (reversing) the situation of United was no easy task and he’s accomplishing it.

“They are excited again, the club, the fanbase and also the way they play does a lot.

“He changes things offensively, defensively, everyone’s working very well, so it’s a tough rival for us and he’s a very interesting coach.

“In my mind, he does great things – you know, variants of the line of three, the side players go inside, a lot of people go into the offence.

“He’s an offensive coach, I believe, and he proves that in most of his games. I believe he’s a reference for offensive coaches who like this kind of football.”

Marcus Rashford has been on fire for Man Utd this season and Xavi knows his Barcelona side will have to be wary of his threat on Thursday.

Xavi added: “In the transition he is very, very dangerous so, yes, we need to take care of all of them but especially Rashford.

“He’s one of the most dangerous players now in Europe, yeah.”

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Man Utd to replace Arsenal-bound Rashford with record-equalling Liverpool target