Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United are close to signing Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro for a fee that could rise to 70 million euros (£59 million, $71 million) according to multiple media reports on Friday.

The BBC and The Athletic reported United will pay an initial 60 million euros and make the Brazilian international among the top earners in the Premier League with a four-year deal along with a club option to extend that contract by an extra season.

United are badly in need of new recruits after a miserable start to Erik ten Hag’s reign has left them bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

A lack of new signings has been partly to blame for embarrassing defeats to Brighton and Brentford with Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia the only additions to Ten Hag’s squad so far.

Worse could still be to come for the Red Devils with Liverpool up next at Old Trafford on Monday.

Even if talks progress smoothly over the weekend, Casemiro is unlikely to be registered in time for that match.

The 30-year-old has won three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues during nine years with the Spanish champions as he formed a formidable midfield trio with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

However, Casemiro’s place in Carlo Ancelotti’s preferred starting line-up has come under threat by the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni this summer for a fee that could rise to 100 million euros.