By Adam Hicks.
Manchester United have renewed their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa, although reports claiming the Brazilian was at Old Trafford for Saturday’s game against Bolton have been proven false.
Man United had previously tried to sign Costa for around £7m in the summer of 2009 but were told they must fork out £20m if they wanted to sign the then 18 year-old playmaker.
Costa left Brazilian side Gremio for Ukrainian champions Shakhtar in January 2010 for £5m and still has four years left on his contract which means any deal is likely to be around £15-20m.
It was widely reported that Costa was in the director’s box on Saturday for United’s 1-0 victory over Bolton however photographs later emerged of the Brazilian lining up for Shakhtar on Sunday where he scored in a 4-0 league win over Volyn and has now notched 15 goals in 61 appearances for the Ukrainian club but is said to be interested in a move to England.
After a relatively slow start to his career at Donetsk, Costa is starting to emerge as one of the most talented young midfielders in the game. He helped Shakhtar into their first Champions League quarter-final following an impressive two-legged victory over Roma, in which he scored a stunning strike in the away leg.
The Brazilian U-20 international has been referred to as the ‘New Ronaldinho’ in his homeland and is seen as a suitable replacement for the ageing Paul Scholes. Blessed with raw pace and a vast array of bamboozling tricks Costa also seems equally adept on the wing.
United were first informed about Costa by South American scout John Toulmin two years ago where he helped Brazil to win the South American Youth Championship.
Competition to acquire the youngster signature appears to be hotting up with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona also rumoured to be interested as well as serial spenders Manchester City.
Confusion arose due to mistaken identity. Desportivo Brasil’s first team coach Osmar Loss attended the 1-0 victory with several of his players including Gladstony, Aguilar de Oliveira, Lucas Evangelista, Agnaldo and Rafael Leão. Aguilar apparently had a trial with the Old Trafford outfit in January and has rumoured to have signed a deal with United.
Register with the Stretford End Arising forum.