United on alert for unsettled winger.Manchester United could be set to make an approach for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Douglas Costa, who appears keen to leave the Ukranian club after going AWOL after a pre-season game in France.
CaughtOffside understands that the 23-year-old has become a top target for the Red Devils as they eye new signings on the flanks, with the club now sensing an opportunity to sign him as Shakhtar won’t want to keep the troublesome player in their ranks after this latest development.
Costa is a highly rated talent, catching the eye in the Champions League on occasion with some superb solo efforts, and though he sometimes struggles for consistency, he is seen as a raw talent who could improve and fine tune his game under the coaching of new United manager Louis van Gaal.
Also recently linked with AS Monaco, who are chasing a replacement for Real Madrid-bound James Rodriguez, Costa and five of his team-mates failed to return to the Ukraine following the club’s friendly match against Lyon on Saturday, and now look highly likely to be leaving the club this summer.
A number of other clubs could also step up their interest in the player now, but United are desperate to sign some quality new players in the attacking midfield department, with Costa looking a significant improvement on the likes of Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, all of whom have been well below par for the Red Devils in recent times.
The Brazilian wide-man has been with Shakhtar since 2010, and has scored 33 goals in 170 appearances for the club, and now looks like a player who could be ready to make the step up to a bigger club to help further his career.
Costa is yet to win a cap for the senior Brazilian national side, and a move to the Premier League could help him get into the spotlight a little more, in a similar way to Fernandinho, who moved from the same club to Manchester City last summer.
The likes of Angel Di Maria and Arjen Robben have also been linked with United this summer, but both look out of reach and too expensive, whereas Costa may now be available for a reduced fee of around £12m, though he still has a contract with the club until 2018.