Arsenal have renewed hope in their hunt for Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, who may already be on his way out of Real Madrid after only one season in Spain.
The defensive midfielder has featured sporadically this season, making only one starting appearance and playing only twelve games in La Liga in total. He failed to displace Xabi Alonso and Asier Illarramendi in the Real Madrid team. And with Sami Khedira returning from injury, he is likely to fall further down the pecking order.
Casemiro initially moved to Madrid on loan for six months, where he featured heavily for their B side. After impressing, the Brazilian international signed permanently in a deal reportedly worth around €6 million.
Wenger has long been an admirer of the Brazilian, and looked into the possibility of signing the midfielder whilst still at Sao Paolo.
Arsenal are yet to find a long term replacement for Alex Song, who left for Barcelona two seasons ago. Mathieu Flamini was brought in as a short team solution, but Wenger will be looking to sign someone a bit younger, with the legs to deal with the rigours of Premier League football.
Those unable to track his progress in Brazil may be unaware of the type of player Casemiro is. Whilst capable of playing as box-to-box midfielder, he has been deployed as a defensive-minded midfielder during his cameos with Madrid, often providing a calming influence.
Casemiro reads the game well, often opting to make well-timed interceptions as opposed to going for bone-crunching tackles.
Any player that has more Brazil caps than Diego Costa, Coutinho and Filipe Luis must have something about them. But there are doubts about his attitude, with questions about his perceived lack of work ethic during training.
Should Arsenal wish to make a move for the young Brazilian, they will need to do it quickly. Casemiro will be a man in high demand, attracting interest from a number of clubs in Italy.
If Casemiro does leave, Madrid are likely to inset a buy-back clause into any deal he signs. Inserting such a clause into the contract of Dani Carvajal benefitted Real Madrid immensely. They were able to allow the young full-back to get all the experience he needed and repurchase him should he show promise, with the option to let him stay at Bayer Leverkusen should he not prove capable.
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