News broke within the week that former Manchester United defender, Jaap Stam, has returned to Old Trafford to work as a scout for the club.
Whilst watching Gremio play in Brazil, Douglas was one of the players who caught Stam’s eye, who Real Madrid are also reportedly interested in.
“Douglas still has to grow up,” said Cesar Bottega, the player’s agent. “I wouldn’t like him to be transferred to a European team yet because when you start to negotiate with teams from the European market like the Italian, English or Spanish, it is not always possible to make your wishes come true and that puts pressure on.”
United had apparently offered £20million for the player, which his agent recognises would be too hard for Gremio to turn down.
“I think that it is too early to transfer to a team like Manchester United, but if they have offered 80 million Reais (Brazilian currency – £20million) to Gremio then that is important,” he continued. “The Europeans already knew Douglas as they have seen him play in the Brazilian youth national teams but they needed to see him in action for a senior side. Against Santos and Botafogo, Douglas showed that he can play among professional players but that doesn’t mean that he has to be transferred to a European team now. We know about the interest of some teams and that the offers are important but I have the same opinion as that of his mother, in that it isn’t the moment yet to be playing in Europe.”
Brazilian businessman Fernando Cesar, who claims to be an intermediary working with United, claims that it is only natural that United would be interested in Douglas.
“I actually asked him [Stam] to see all the players, among them Douglas Costa – I said he was an interesting player and he could see that for himself, but the interest of Manchester in Douglas is a natural thing,” he told the Brazilian media.
Whilst the agent is keen to insist that bids have been made, the club deny any such thing.
“The story about Manchester and Real Madrid is pure speculation,” said director of football Andre Krieger. “If we want to win the Copa Libetadores, we need Douglas to stay.”