Ronaldo, Ramos and Varane also departed when they seemed untouchable.
Casemiro has been a key player in Real Madrid's recent successes. So were Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos and, as has happened with the Br azilian, many did not understand the move.
Why do Real Madrid agree to transfer players who seem untouchable? Everything has an explanation. The decisions are based on a way of working and planning from a sporting and economic point of view, and even in terms of their impact on the day-to-day functioning of the squad.
The starting point is the desire of the player in question to remain at Real Madrid. If there are doubts, the door is open as long as an offer arrives that the club's directors consider to be appropriate. In the case of Varane his departure took time, with lengthy negotiations whilst with Casemiro everything has been much quicker. Five days were enough and an offer that could reach 85 million euros was the price to pay.
They were two different cases. Varane had started to decline in his performance and the physical problems that accompanied him led the directors to set a price for his departure and to look for a replacement, which ended up being David Alaba. They believed that his best moment had passed. The price of the operation went up to 50 million euros. The Frenchman made 22 appearances in the Premier League last season.
The surprise and the impact that the situation posed by Casemiro and United has had on the fans and the press has not taken the club's planning by surprise. Nobody thought about an imminent departure, but they did prepare the replacements. They bet on Aurelien Tchouameni as they did a year ago with Eduardo Camavinga. The midfield was still at the highest level, but everything has an expiry date.
When the call came from United and Casemiro, the roadmap was written. The sporting impact was minimised with the transfers already embedded in the squad, while the economic impact guaranteed that they would have the cash to deal with the reinforcements they have earmarked for next summer, which is none other than Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund. Tchouameni's starting place is being fast-tracked, but that's why the Frenchman was signed. Without Casemiro, there are six midfielders in the first team squad.
If on this occasion there was no dispute, there was with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, two very different scenarios, but with identical endings. Both brought to the table situations that pushed the club's directors to the limit and went beyond sporting matters.
With CR7, a starting price was set, in agreement with the player, and they closed his transfer to Juve. He wanted what Real Madrid could not give him, economic stability was at stake and they could not afford to pay what Lionel Messi was earning at Barcelona. In the case of the captain, it was a question of a disagreement and of wanting to show that there is no one above the club.
Both left and Real Madrid have continued to win, as demonstrated last season. The successes are of the collective and never of individual players, which is why the greatest interest of the directors is precisely to maintain a united dressing room. History will repeat itself and in time a player will want to 'improve' and the door will open again as long as the money meets the expectations set, the same money that has led the club to live in a very difficult economic situation.
Gone are Angel Di María, Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Varane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Reguilon, Alvaro Morata, Achraf Hakimi... players who brought a lot to Real Madrid, especially in terms of their quality, but also in terms of the club's economic and social stability.
History will repeat itself. Decisions are taken coldly, but after much thought from those on the technical staff.