Brazilian edges nearer to Old Trafford move.
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Costa, who left Gremio for Shakhtar Donetsk in a £5m transfer in January 2010, watched Manchester United’s clash with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday from the Old Trafford directors’ box.
The 20-year-old has scored 15 goals in 61 appearances for Shakhtar, who are due to face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals next month, and was a £7m target for United in August 2009 but Gremio rejected attempts to take him to Old Trafford.
United had been keen to sign Costa on loan, but Gremio’s demands for £20m for the player, who was at 18 at the time, forced United to abort their attempts to sign him.
Costa was recommended to Sir Alex Ferguson two years ago by United’s Brazil-based South America scout John Toulmin and, with United looking for a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, Costa’s progress at Shakhtar has prompted the club to step up their interest in the player.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have also been linked with the Brazil U-20 player, while Manchester City have emerged as an interested party in recent weeks.
Clearly being seen in a directors’ box at Old Trafford is going to get tongues wagging and must surely be some sign that the talented youngster is lining up a move to the Premier League table toppers and given the great performances the Shakhtar Donetsk man has put in of late, one can hardly blame Sir Alex Ferguson for pursuing the goal scoring midfielder.
The pint sized attacking midfielder as the logical long term replacement for veteran Paul Scholes who has long since swapped stubborn determined midfield play for his previous attack minded vision and it does seem that Manchester United have missed a central midfielder who can get forward and score a dozen plus goals a season. Arsenal have Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea have Frank Lampard, Liverpool have Steven Gerrard and Tottenham have Rafael Van der Vaart.
There are very few goals in the current crop of central midfielders that Ferguson possesses. The likes of Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Anderson do a lot of good work but they are not natural finishers and rarely get far enough forward.
Douglas Costa has made a big impact since his move to the Ukraine and has been a key part of the Shakhtar Donetsk side who is running away with the domestic league and has fought their way to the Champions League Quarter Finals.