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Man Utd held ‘strong’ interest in Juve's Douglas Costa but Sarri refused to sell, says agent

11:01 AM EDT 9/9/19
Douglas Costa Parma Juventus Serie A
The Brazilian forward was among those the Red Devils were hoping to acquire over the summer, but their efforts were rebuffed by the Serie A champions

Manchester United held “strong” interest in Douglas Costa over the summer, claims football agent Giovanni Branchini, but Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri refused to sanction a sale.

The 28-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Premier League and those at Old Trafford.

He is a proven performer at the very highest level and faces fierce competition for places with the reigning Serie A champions.

United were hoping to see that work in their favour during the most recent transfer window, but Costa could not be prised from the clutches of European rivals in Turin.

And Branchini, who represents Costa's Juve team-mate Mattia De Sciglio, told the Daily Mail: “I sincerely say that [Massimiliano] Allegri and Sarri have never thought of letting him go. 

“The interest of Manchester United was strong, a club that has always been interested in the Brazilian.

“It was not the only club but in England it was certainly the most active team on the trail of Douglas Costa.”

Costa has worked his way into favour with Juve this season, with two assists recorded in as many Serie A outings.

The injury concerns of his recent past appear to be behind him, with Branchini adding: “Douglas has had countless health problems.

“Last season he was very often injured. He is wanting to recover with great professionalism after standing still. 

“Juventus never intended to sell him despite the big pressure from United.”

Costa still has much to prove if he is to keep his place, but looks to be thriving under the guidance of former Napoli and Chelsea boss Sarri.

Branchini expects that to continue, saying: “Douglas is a ‘cool’ professional in the best sense of the word. He is able to adapt to everything.

“Just think of how well he did in Ukraine, in a country totally different from Brazil

“He loves Juventus but is able to adapt to every reality.

“The Premier League is a beautiful championship but for now United have failed in all their attempts to convince Juventus to sell him. The player remained in Turin and is a champion.”

Costa joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Gremio in 2010 and would spend five years with the Ukrainian outfit.

He then secured a switch to German giants Bayern Munich, before moving on to Juve – initially on loan – in 2017.