Are Manchester United being conned over Douglas Costa?
Watch FootBrazil’s special report on Douglas Costa and Santos’ rising star, Neymar, here
Weekend reports in the British press have again linked Grêmio’s Douglas Costa with Manchester United.
The Premier League club have apparently been chasing the 18-year-old midfielder for more than a year. Now they may be close to getting their man in a cut-price deal, which could see Costa moving initially for as little as £7 million plus performance-related add-ons.
While it’s normal to see the British tabloids filling their pages with wild speculation, this weekend’s reports came from The Guardian, Independent and The Times.
According to The Guardian, Costa is supposedly being championed by Manchester United’s chief scout in Brazil, John Calvert-Toulmin.
The article talks about “the talented 18-year-old who has been hailed as “the new Ronaldinho” in his country” ….. and goes on to say …. “Manchester City are also aware of Costa’s burgeoning reputation …. adding “Grêmio is the club where Ronaldinho made his breakthrough and Costa has obvious similarities in terms of his ability to run with the ball and beat opponents from his favoured role between midfield and attack, as well as being a free-kick specialist.”
The Independent article is essentially a rehash of the Guardian post but makes slightly more grandiose claims in that “Costa is a free-kick specialist resonant of Cristiano Ronaldo and his close control has produced goals which the departed Portuguese would have cherished.”
All well and good. The only problem is that Douglas Costa has failed to perform any of these acts of genius in a league or cup game for Grêmio.
The teenager is currently injured but even when fit he rarely starts a match for the first team. Costa’s fame abroad far exceeds his reputation here in Brazil where he is certainly not regarded as the ‘next Ronaldinho Gaúcho’, he is definitely not famed for his free-kicks and any comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo would leave even the most ardent Grêmio fan in stitches.
The only thing Douglas Costa has done to date is manage to put in a few decent performances for Brazil’s Under 20s.
This is common place in a country that wheels out talented players seemingly on a daily basis. Some do go on to be the real article. Though many next big things such as Corinthians’ Lulinha and now perhaps Neymar at Santos, have struggled to reproduce the form they displayed for Brazil’s junior sides in the more demanding Brazilian league.
Manchester United seem dead keen on getting their man. But just where have they got the idea that Costa is all the things he’s cracked up to be? Grêmio have played 41 games already this season. Costa has made just 15 appearances and has failed to score a single goal. Something does not quite add up. United and their scouts are either the best potential spotters in the business or they are having the wool pulled over their eyes big time.
Entry filed under: Douglas Costa, Manchester United rumours, Transfer news. Tags: Brazilian football, Douglas Costa, Grêmio, Grêmio and Douglas Costa, Lulinha, Manchester United, Manchester United and Douglas Costa, Neymar, The Guardian, The Independent.