Manchester United have been trying to sign Juventus winger Douglas Costa but were keeping details of the transfer from then-manager Jose Mourinho, claims The Sun.

The Portuguese was sacked by the Red Devils yesterday (December 18) and the club is now poised to install Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as an interim boss before making a permanent appointment at the end of the season.

Mourinho had been promised funds in January to sign a central defender to bolster United’s defence.

Reports linked the Red Devils with Tottenham Hotspur’s Belgium international Toby Alderweireld after other targets were ruled out and he had been unable to recruit in the summer.

However, The Sun claims that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also planning to bring Costa to the club – although Mourinho had no idea of the plan until shortly before his dismissal.

The Brazil international made the permanent switch from Bayern Munich to Juventus in the summer but has found his opportunities in Turin limited since the arrival of former Red Devil Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

The Sun quoted a source close to Mourinho as confirming United’s plans in the transfer market to buy both a central defender and Costa in January.

During his time at the Red Devils, the Portuguese frequently clashed with the board over player recruitment and it is not known whether the move for the Brazilian winger would have caused another rift.

United weren’t about to find out and it is possible that the reason Woodward did not tell Mourinho about the plans was because he felt it was inevitable that the manager would not be in position for much longer.

However, his departure may throw any potential deals into doubt as players may decide against moving to the club without knowing who the next permanent manager will be.


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