Douglas Costa agent doubts Manchester United will meet asking price
Contrary to reports circulating in the British press, Douglas Costa’s agent, Cesar Bottega, does not in fact believe that Manchester United are willing to pay the large fee Grêmio want for their 18-year-old.
“I don’t believe that they [Manchester United] will reach this figure”, the agent told Porto Alegre newspaper Zero Hora.
However, the agent did say that there had been ‘informal talks’ with the Premier League club but that he doubted a firm offer was on the cards.
Grêmio are believed to be holding out for around £20 million for the Under 20 Brazil international. But this is a hugely inflated fee for a player who has failed to establish himself with the first team on a regular basis.
Bottega went on to say “Right now, an offer might come in at a maximum of £6.7 million. But this would not be enough for [Grêmio] president Duda Kroeff”.
Douglas Costa is just one of a handful of young Brazilian footballers who have somehow been saddled with overblown and totally unjustified reputations abroad. Corinthians’ Lulinha and Santo’s Neymar are two others. While the teenagers showed some promise with Brazil’s U20 and U17 teams, none of them have done anything of note in the country’s domestic leagues and none are regular starters with their clubs. Lulinha, in fact, rarely figures on the bench at Corinthians and has suffered a dramatic dip in form since he first came to light at the São Paulo outfit in 2007.
Brazilian clubs, or rather players agents and football marketing companies such as Traffic Sports, have become adept at generating hype around the so-called teenage prodigies. Much of this propaganda is aimed at Premier League outfits that appear to be willing to pay silly money for unproven players.
Manchester United seem to be on to a winner with the Da Silva twins but Dodô is more of a long-shot. In the case of the twins, there was a bit of a buzz around them in their early days at Fluminense. But very few people, including Corinthians fans, had even heard of Dodô before he was whisked away to England.
This approach doesn’t usually work with Italian clubs who have an excellent track record of signing players with obvious quality on the cheap. The ability of Kaká and Alexandro Pato was unquestionable. But the players were never linked with English clubs whilst they were in Brazil. True, work permits for the UK are an issue but there are a number of ways for clubs to get round that (loans to other European clubs, junior team involvement etc).
The Italians know their stuff when it comes to signing Brazilians. And with Leonardo now in charge at AC Milan, there will be more teenagers heading to Italy. If English clubs really want to sign the best players for reasonable prices, they need to keep a close eye on what the Italians are up to.
Entry filed under: Douglas Costa, Manchester United rumours, Transfer news. Tags: AC Milan, Alexandre Pato, Brazilian football, Cesar Bottega, Dodo and Manchester United, Douglas Costa, Grêmio, Kaká, Leonardo, Lulinha, Manchester United, Manchester United Brazilian twins, Manhester United and Douglas Costa, Neymar, Traffic Sports.