Manchester United are aiming to hold talks with Brazilian starlet Douglas Coutinho, with scouts from the Red Devils having been suitably impressed by his form for Atletico Paranaense.
According to the Daily Express, citing reports from South America, the player’s agent has been made aware of Louis van Gaal’s interest, and confirmed that if it was genuine then a deal could be agreed upon.
United interest confirmed
"I had a query about interest and Manchester United. Obviously if they want to buy, the interest to sell is there. I go to see if it’s official," said Costa's chief representative, Taciano Pimenta.
"I had a query about interest and Manchester United"
Coutinho, a striker by trade, has netted seven goals in 25 appearances for Paranaense, and the fact that he is 20 had led United to believe he can be moulded into a promising player for the future.
- Wayne Rooney is already a certified England and Manchester United legend
- Chris Smalling set to be target of Arsenal negotiations
- Ander Herrera could be flogged in shock January sale by Manchester United
With Van Gaal having spent handsomely to bring in Radamel Falcao this season, who has slotted into an attacking lineup which already boasts Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, United are under pressure to get goals by the hat-full, though it hasn’t turned out that way thus far. The former Premier League champions sit seventh in the Premier League table, having only amassed 16 points from their opening 11 matches.
United's need going forward
Whilst Coutinho wouldn’t be an immediate fix he could offer something different moving forward, especially if Van Gaal opts not to take AS Monaco up on the option of buying Radamel Falcao full time.
Reports yesterday claimed that the Dutchman wants to take the next two months to see how his Colombian forward copes with his injury problems, and if he remains unconvinced then the £52 million it would take to seal the deal will be spent elsewhere.
Van Gaal's reputation
If that is the case then they’d certainly be able to afford the mooted £7.5 million Coutinho’s purchase would cost, and with Van Gaal’s reputation for introducing youth into his sides preceding him, it makes sense from certain angles.
The likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Thomas Muller are directly indebted to Van Gaal for being given extended runs in their respective first-teams when they were first emerging, and he’s already placed faith in young players at United, having introduced Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett to the senior setup.