Sunday, March 20, 2011
Someone who resembled Douglas Costa was seen by almost all the English football media in the directors box at Old Trafford yesterday, and subsequently, rumours of a summer transfer were printed in all the papers without a moments hesitation or thought. The fact that he was going to play in Shakhtar's game vs Volyn in the Ukranian Premier League the next day seemed to slip the minds of these "Observant" people.
Given that he's sitting alongside the kids from the youth team, a row beneath Bebe and Lindegaard, I'd say he's a kid on trial from some other club, certainly not a professional footballer about to start a game the next day on the other side of Europe.
The likelihood of United signing Costa ahead of any of the big spenders in their current frugal financial state seems unlikely, given that Shakhtar would demand a hefty sum and Costa sizeable wages. True, United do need to strengthen their central midfield, especially with Hargreaves and Scholes both expected to be leaving at the end of this season, but having committed themselves to contracts for Anderson, Fletcher and Carrick, I doubt United will be willing to pay high wages on what would be a massive gamble. Given that United signed the other "next Ronaldinho" in Anderson, its unlikely Sir Alex has lost faith in him in a matter of months after agreeing to extend his deal. The technicalities of actually getting Costa to the Premier League is also problematic, as he will not have played in the majority of Brazil's senior internationals, and would unlikely be granted exemption for exceptional talent.
United need a combative, defensive midfielder as soon as possible, to allow Carrick, Anderson and Gibson to play further up the pitch, and return to their natural attacking mindset. Douglas Costa ( if it really was him), isn't the answer.