Manchester United are considering a move for Bournemouth winger David Brooks after cooling interest in a possible loan deal for the Juventus forward Douglas Costa.
The MEN understands United view Costa, 29, as an alternative to Jadon Sancho if they fail to resolve issues in negotiations with the Borussia Dortmund talisman’s agent and had been looking at a possible loan, but regard Brooks as more attainable following Bournemouth’s relegation.
Brooks, 23, has been under consideration by United for upwards of a year after impressing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in Bournemouth’s 4-1 defeat at United in December 2018, but was deemed too expensive last summer as Bournemouth valued him at £50million. United eventually bought Daniel James from Swansea for £15m.
Wales international Brooks missed the first seven months of last season due to ankle surgery but started in six of the last nine games and he is believed to be eager to leave for a Premier League club following Bournemouth’s relegation.
Brooks’s representatives, Unique Sports Management, facilitated Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s £50m move to United last year and list Axel Tuanzebe among their clients.
United have placed an emphasis on young British players as part of their recruitment reboot and Brooks would enhance the squad depth that Solskjaer questioned after the Europa League semi-final defeat to Sevilla.
The sudden development Sancho’s contract has been extended until 2023 has forced United to consider contingency options similar to Bayern Munich in their pursuit of Leroy Sane. After failing to sign Sane last year, Bayern agreed season-long loans for Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan and Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona before securing Sane in a £54.8m deal in June.
Costa was identified by Jose Mourinho as a possible option to enhance United’s attack two years ago, along with fellow Brazilian Willian, but United’s time was focused on the fruitless attempt to sign a centre-back.
Although Costa was a Mourinho target, United’s interest in the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward dates back 10 years to when Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign him from Gremio.
United’s interest in Costa became so renowned under Ferguson some mistakenly believed he was in attendance in the Old Trafford directors’ box for the March 2011 Premier League victory over Bolton Wanderers. Desportivo Brasil academy players were invited to the game and Costa was mistaken for midfielder Gladestony.