United's £15m 'new Ronaldinho' target spotted at Old Trafford

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Highly rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa is a summer transfer target for Manchester United reports the Telegraph.

The 20-year-old Brazilian who has been dubbed the ‘new Ronaldinho’ was spotted in the stands watching Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Costa, who signed for Shakhtar for £5million from Gremio in January 2010 has scored 15 goals in 61 appearances for the Champions League quarter finalists.

He was a £7million transfer target for Sir Alex Ferguson in August 2009 but Gremio rejected the Red Devils approaches as they were said to be looking for something closer to £20million - forcing United to abort their plans to bring him to Old Trafford.


Recommended by United’s South American based scout John Toulmin, Costa comes with a very high reputation, but a summer move to the Carrington based club could prove far from straightforward due to potential difficulties sustaining a work permit.

Costa’s talent has not yet been recognised by an international call-up but that could change with a move to a higher profile league, something the player would reportedly welcome at this stage of his career.

His European performances have been particularly eye-catching and he once again served notice of his talents with a wonderful goal against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico before following it up with an assist as Shakhtar clocked up a surprise 3-2 win in their Champions League last-16 first leg encounter.

With United looking for a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, Costa’s progress at Shakhtar has prompted Sir Alex to step up his interest once again.

But as the wealthiest club in Ukraine, Shakhtar are also emerging as a surprise European force this season, and so the club will be well placed financially to resist any offer for their star player, should Manchester United come calling.

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