Manchester United are primed and ready to pounce if Juventus do not take up their option to sign Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich, according to the Sun.
The 27-year-old is superior to all of Jose Mourinho’s current right-wing options and would go straight into the first team, replacing academy graduate Jesse Lingard.
The Sun claim that Juventus, with whom Costa has just spent the season on loan, have an option to buy the Brazilian for £33m this summer but may spurn the opportunity in pursuit of spending big on an elite central midfielder.
In that event, they report that United are ready to offer Bayern, Costa’s parent club, over double the fee agreed with Juve – £79m – to bring the wideman to Old Trafford this summer.
The report also says that United and Juve’s transfer business is uncannily intertwined. Reds full-back Matteo Darmian is set to join the Italian giants, who want to secure a return for Paul Pogba.
Their other central midfield target is Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who is reportedly subject of interest from United also, and could raise the funds to sign a central midfielder via the sale of left-back Alex Sandro, who Mourinho is also sniffing around.
United’s right wing options are currently Juan Mata – who is a number 10 bizarrely converted to a wideman despite not having the legs – Jesse Lingard, who has pace and energy but looks more comfortable through the middle and lacks consistency, or an awkward crowbarring of Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial – all more comfortable operating from the left.
Costa is a better bet than all of them. He is an outstanding dribbler, capable of embarrassing even Europe’s elite defenders and would add genuine pace and width to this United setup.
£79m is steep, and it is especially perplexing that United would go in that high when Juve have £33m agreed already but potentially the closeness of the two club’s transfer dealings can help a deal get over the line.