Papers: Deal for Doug?
United to sign 'new Cristiano'
Manchester United have opened talks with Grêmio about signing Douglas Costa, their highly rated Brazil Under-20 attacking midfield player, as Sir Alex Ferguson steps up his search for the new Cristiano Ronaldo. Douglas, 18, has been closely monitored by United for more than a year, but despite interest from a host of leading European clubs including Real Madrid and Inter Milan, Ferguson is confident of signing the player this summer as the Barclays Premier League champions continue to look to Brazil for potential stars of the future. John Calvert-Toulmin, United’s principal scout in Brazil, recommended that Ferguson sign Douglas last summer, but the manager has opted to wait until now to make his move. Douglas is rumoured to have a £21 million release clause in his contract with Grêmio, which has four years left to run, but United hope to secure him for less than that. James Ducker, The Times
According to the Daily Mirror
, another Brazilian is being tracked by the champions. 24-year-old striker Nilmar
, who plays for Internacional, is reportedly the subject of a £20million bid.
Meanwhile, The Sun
features quotes from the soon-to-depart Cristiano Ronaldo
who insists Sir Alex Ferguson understands his reasons for joining Real Madrid. And according to the Daily Express
, Ben Foster
has signed a new four-year deal with the Reds.
In other news, some of United's game next season will be screened live on ESPN
after the US broadcaster ESPN picked up both packages which were put up for auction by the Premier League after they were taken away from Setanta.