Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has agreed personal terms with Manchester United.
United have progressed with discussions to sign the 30-year-old Brazil international in a €60million transfer.
Sources say United have tried to accelerate the deal in an attempt to sign Casemiro in time for him to be available for the visit of Liverpool on Monday night but that is remote as he would also have to obtain a work permit.
Sources say Real coach Carlo Ancelotti is “not fussed” about losing Casemiro, a five-times Champions League winner with Real.
Real have signed France midfielders Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni over the last year while Luka Modric signed a contract extension.
Casemiro is believed to have specifically felt aggrieved by the £85.3million arrival of Tchouameni from Monaco.
The Casemiro deal signals a drastic shift from United as manager Erik ten Hag’s preference was to sign Frenkie de Jong and disregard a defensive midfielder.
Nemanja Matic’s departure at the end of his contract in June means United do not have an out-and-out defensive midfielder in their squad and that void has been exposed in dismal defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
United have previously bought Raphael Varane and Angel di Maria from Madrid. Di Maria was a £59.7million British record signing in 2014 and lasted a season at the club as his original preference was to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Varane, 29, arrived last year for a fee rising to £43million but only played 29 times in an injury-laden campaign and started this season on the bench.
Ten Hag is expected to recall Varane for the Liverpool fixture after United were thrashed 4-0 by Brentford last week.