Man United cool Adrien Rabiot interest over wage demands, explore move for Real Madrid's Casemiro - sources

Manchester United have cooled their interest in Adrien Rabiot over what they believe are excessive wage demands and are instead exploring a move for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, sources have told ESPN.

United have refused to meet Rabiot's demands despite offering to make the French midfielder one of the highest-paid players at the club.

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Sources have told ESPN that Rabiot's request for a larger financial package is to compensate for giving up Champions League football at Juventus to spend at least one season in the Europa League at Old Trafford.

Manager Erik ten Hag is desperate to sign a midfielder before the transfer deadline on Sept. 1. They are looking at a deal for Casemiro and, although sources close to United accept it's a "long shot," have been given enough encouragement an agreement is possible to pursue it.

Casemiro, 30, was a substitute for Real Madrid's opening league game of the season against Almeria with manager Carlo Ancelotti instead picking a midfield of Toni Kroos, Eduardo Camavinga and summer signing Aurelien Tchouameni.

Sources have told ESPN that Casemiro's preference would be to stay at the Bernabeu, where he has a contract until 2025, but the Brazilian has not ruled out a move to Old Trafford.

United remain in the hunt for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong but sources have told ESPN they are growing more pessimistic about whether a deal is possible so close to the end of the window.

Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman and De Jong would prefer to move to a Champions League club if he has to leave Camp Nou.

United have made a disastrous start to the season with back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Ten Hag's team sit bottom of the Premier League table with just two weeks to improve the squad ahead of the close of the transfer window.