Thursday, June 25, 2009

Douglas trial offer knocked back

United's early efforts to replace Cristiano Ronaldo have hit the buffers after Brazilian outfit Gremio refused to allow Douglas Costa a trial period at Old Trafford.
Costa, recently dubbed the new Ronaldo in some of the tabloids, was invited for a 20-day trial at Carrington so that Sir Alex Ferguson could run the rule over the slightly built 18-year-old. However that idea has been met with contempt by his club, who believe the Brazil youth starlet has nothing to prove. Their president Duda Kroeff said: "We have said to them [Manchester United] that this will not happen.
"Douglas is not at the stage where he would go through such a situation."
Douglas along with Santos winger Neymar and Palmeiras striker Keirrison have been tracked by several of Europe's top clubs over the last 12 months and the starlet is believed to have a 21 million euro buyout clause lodged in his contract which runs until 2013.
The attacking midfielder, who can also play on the left, has played less than 20 first-team games for Gremio, but he did star for Brazil at the South American Under-20 Youth Championships in January and finished the tournament as Brazil’s second top goal scorer with three goals.
His agent Cesar Bottega, who is no doubt rubbing his hands together at the prospect of his client being touted around Europe's big guns, is unsure whether United will be willing to match Gremio's buyout clause for a player, who scored on his first-team debut last season.
However Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested in Douglas, whose club are currently playing him in the reserves so as not to burn the youngster out.

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