Man Utd ‘already in contact’ for Casemiro replacement with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s approval | Football | Sport

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is expected to make further midfield signings next year if he remains at the club to complete the next phase of his rebuild. Casemiro could be among the players Ten Hag will look to replace, and the foundations of a deal are reportedly already being laid.

United’s midfield has been a primary focus of the Dutchman’s recruitment since he took charge last summer.

He splashed £70million to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid after luring Christian Eriksen to Old Trafford on a free transfer.

This year, Marcel Sabitzer joined on a short loan in January before Mason Mount’s £60m arrival and Sofyan Amrabat’s £10m season-long loan in the summer.

But Ten Hag’s engine room has been one of many problems during his troublesome second season at the helm.

After an impressive debut campaign, Casemiro looked a shadow of his former self before suffering an injury during the November international break.

The 31-year-old is claimed to be one of several first-team stars who Ten Hag is willing to cash in on should a suitable offer arrive in January or at the end of the season.

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And United appear to be already working on bolstering Ten Hag’s ranks with OGC Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram.

According to Calciomercato, Juventus have failed in a move for Thuram and are now concerned they have lost ground to his Premier League suitors.

The report claims Liverpool, Manchester City and United are already in contact with Nice and the 22-year-old’s representatives over a potential switch.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, soon to inherit sporting control at Old Trafford, will be well familiar with Thuram, considering he also owns Nice.

The 71-year-old could use his connections to lure Thuram to Manchester at the dawn of a new era under INEOS’ watch.

Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo has also been strongly linked with replacing Raphael Varane at United.

He was on Ten Hag’s shortlist before Sir Jim emerged as the victorious candidate in the Glazer family’s strategic review, and the INEOS founder’s arrival will only boost United’s chances.

Previous reports claim that Nice value Thuram, who has made 60 appearances since the start of last season, at £35m.

The France international has helped Nice make a brilliant start to the season, trailing Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain by just four points after 15 games.

Nice won’t want to tarnish their recent run, winning nine games and losing just once in the league, so a summer transfer is more likely for both Thuram and Todibo.

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