Juventus star Douglas Costa branded links with Manchester United as "baseless" after an agent claimed the Premier League club tried to sign him.

An English newspaper published an interview with agent Giovanni Branchini on Monday, in which he claimed United had held "strong" interest in Costa but Maurizio Sarri did not want to sell him.

But in response to the reports, Costa has issued a strong rebuttal and insisted Branchini, who worked as an intermediary in Costa's move to Juve, is not a representative of his anymore.

Writing on his official Instagram, Costa said: "I'm writing to deny the baseless news published today, which said I was in negotiations with some clubs during the last transfer window.

"Since the start of this season, I've been clear that I wanted to stay here to win trophies and give blood for the Juve jersey.

"Junior Mendoza is my only agent and the only person authorised to speak on my behalf."

Manchester United held a "strong interest" in Juventus winger Douglas Costa but Maurizio Sarri was adamant he would not be sold, according to the Brazilian's agent.

Costa, 28, only played a bit-part role under Massimiliano Allegri last season, starting seven times in Serie A as injuries hampered him.

The Brazil international had been linked with a move away from the club due to his decrease in playing time and his agent revealed United were interested in bringing him to Old Trafford.

United have been linked with Costa numerous times over the course of the winger's career, but Sarri was unwilling to see him depart, with the former Bayern Munich attacker starting both of Juve's first two games of the season.

"I sincerely say that Allegri and Sarri have never thought of letting him go," agent Giovanni Branchini told the Daily Mail.

"The interest of Manchester United was strong, a club that has always been interested in him. They were not the only club, but in England they were certainly the most active team on the trail of Douglas Costa.

"He 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."

While Costa is in no rush to leave Turin, his agent does not rule anything out in future, convinced the player can adapt to any surroundings.

"Douglas is a 'cool' professional in the best sense of the word," Branchini said. "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."

Joao Felix showed why Atletico Madrid were happy to pay €126million to sign him with a hand in both goals as the Rojiblancos beat Juventus 2-1 in the International Champions Cup.

In a repeat of last season's thrilling Champions League round-of-16 tie that Juventus won 3-2 on aggregate, Atletico took a measure of revenge in an entertaining encounter at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, where Thomas Lemar turned Joao Felix's volley into the net to give Diego Simeone's men the lead.

The pair combined again for Atleti's second, which was scored by teenage sensation Joao Felix, whose performance full of energy and flair will have delighted his coach.

The result rounded off a satisfying pre-season for Atletico, who beat rivals Real Madrid 7-3 earlier in the ICC, while Juve coach Maurizio Sarri gave Paulo Dybala a run out after his mooted move away from the club failed to transpire.

Giorgio Chiellini's close-range volley was turned over the bar by Jan Oblak, who got down well to make a one-handed save, and Cristiano Ronaldo fired over the crossbar from the edge of the box as Juventus enjoyed a positive start.

But Atletico punished the Bianconeri's wastefulness after 23 minutes when Joao Felix met Kieran Trippier's cross with a side-footed volley that deflected off Lemar's thigh on its way past Wojciech Szczesny and into the net.

The lead lasted just six minutes as Khedira capitalised on some hesitant Atletico defending and sent a low drive into the bottom corner of Oblak's net, with Douglas Costa's step-over helping to distract the goalkeeper.

Lemar returned the favour to Joao Felix just after the half hour, floating a weighted pass into the box where the teenage forward slid in ahead of Matthijs de Ligt to score with a half-volley from 12 yards.

After Costa hit the outside of the post with a low drive early in the second half, Adrien Rabiot went even closer, crashing a thunderous effort against the upright from 20 yards.

Mario Mandzukic played in Dybala for a chance in the box 13 minutes from time but his deflected shot was saved at full stretch by Oblak, meaning Atletico entered the new season on a winning note.

Maybe Juventus are not ready to give up on signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba just yet.

Pogba, 26, has been linked with a return to Turin and a move to Real Madrid as he looks for an Old Trafford exit.

But, just as it looked like Juve were struggling and Madrid was the midfielder's most likely destination, that may have changed.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO OFFER THREE PLAYERS IN MOVE FOR POGBA

Juventus could offer a fee plus three players in their move for Manchester United star Pogba, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Full-back Joao Cancelo, attacker Douglas Costa and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are the players mentioned for potential moves in the report.

Meanwhile, ESPN FC report Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has told coach Zinedine Zidane that it will be very difficult to sign Pogba this close season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are still trying to find a way to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain. According to Sky Germany, Barca are offering €100million plus two players, having given PSG a list of six that includes Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Malcom. That is up from the earlier offer of €40m plus two players. According to Sport, Barca have made Coutinho and Rakitic priorities to be sold.

- After being linked to Bayern Munich, Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to re-sign with Chelsea. The Daily Mail report the 18-year-old England international will sign a five-year deal worth more than £100,000 per week to stay at Stamford Bridge.

- Giovani Lo Celso apparently wants to join Tottenham, but Spurs are unwilling to meet Real Betis' £60m (€66.8m) asking price, according to The Sun, who say Erik Lamela could be added into a deal. Danny Rose could also reportedly leave Spurs and Sky Sports say PSG are interested in the left-back.

- Arsenal have beaten their north London rivals to the signing of Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, according to ESPN FC. Arsenal will complete the signing of Saliba for £26.9m (€30m) and loan him back to the Ligue 1 club despite late interest from Spurs, the report says.

- Another reported Arsenal target, Wilfried Zaha, has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave, according to The Sun. Arsenal have reportedly had a £40m bid for the attacker rejected.

- Bayern Munich are ready to meet Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Mendez's €25m release clause, according to Kicker. Mendez, 22, was handed a Spain debut late last year and scored six goals while providing seven assists for Celta in LaLiga in 2018-19.

A Manchester United fan could soon be their next goalkeeper.

Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak – a boyhood supporter of the Red Devils – is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Talk of Oblak comes at a good time, with uncertainty continuing to hang over David de Gea's future at United.

 

TOP STORY – OBLAK EYES UNITED

Atletico's exodus could continue, with ESPN FC claiming Jan Oblak wants to leave LaLiga's runners-up following broken promises over his future.

Oblak is apparently keener on Premier League side United than Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Antoine Griezmann prepares to leave after the departures of captain Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Juanfran and Filipe Luis.

The 26-year-old only signed a new Atletico deal until 2023 earlier this year. The report is music to the ears of United fans, with David de Gea no closer to signing a new contract amid reported interest from PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are preparing a second bid, reportedly worth £50million, for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka according to Sky Sports after their initial offer was turned down.

- Marko Grujic could make a permanent move to Germany. After a successful loan spell at Hertha Berlin from Liverpool. Goal reports that Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt could use the money from Luka Jovic's sale to buy the 23-year-old. Champions League holders Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to accept anything less than £25m.

- Sticking with the Germany-Liverpool theme and the Reds have ruled out signing Werder Bremen striker Max Kruse, says the Liverpool Echo.

- According to Sky Sports, Tottenham could sign Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai if Kieran Trippier leaves Spurs.

PSG are confident of signing Ajax's in-demand captain Matthijs de Ligt, per The Independent. The French giants are reportedly offering the 19-year-old centre-back the biggest financial package amid interest from Barcelona and United.

United are refusing to entertain offers for Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, AS reports. It comes as La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Juan Cuadrado, Joao Cancelo and Mattia Perin could be sold by Juventus to fund a move for their former midfielder.

Arsenal must raise their bid for Sampdoria pair Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet after having a €48m offer rejected by the Serie A side, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Douglas Costa admitted he had doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo after he joined Juventus but the superstar "won everyone over very quickly" at the Italian champions.

Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juve in a stunning €112million deal at the start of the season and the five-time Ballon d'Or justified the investment as he led the Serie A holders into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 34-year-old forward scored a record-equalling eighth Champions League hat-trick to see off Atletico Madrid 3-0 in Turin on Tuesday and 3-2 on aggregate.

Ronaldo has netted 24 goals in all competitions in his first season with Juve – 19 of those coming in Serie A – and team-mate Costa heaped praise on the Portugal international following his initial concerns.

"When he arrived. I thought 'the best player in the world has joined, right?'" Costa told YouTube channel De Sola. "As soon as he arrived, the club improved in every aspect. His contribution has been noticeable.

"He scores goals every week, he’s brought more fans to the stadium and we hope to win things with him so we make history with him by our side.

"He's a stand-up guy, he's hard-working and he's always with us. If he doesn't talk to me, who does he talk to? We only talk in Portuguese.

"Believe it or not but when Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival was being talked about, I asked 'what will the dressing room be like?'

"We all have to love each other as team-mates because we're all looking for a place in the team, but Cristiano won everyone over very quickly.

"He's a simple, hardworking guy who likes to win. Juventus were looking for a player with his mentality, so he's given us a lot."

Juve – who will face Ajax in the Champions League quarters – travel to Genoa on Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri felt Juventus' laboured 1-0 win at Bologna was a crucial point gained in their bid to secure an eighth successive Serie A title.

Juve struggled for much of Sunday's encounter, but Paulo Dybala came off the bench to settle matters, moving Allegri's side – temporarily at least – 16 points clear of second-place Napoli.

Having suffered a damaging Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid in midweek, Allegri insisted the importance of the result should not be overlooked, with Juve travelling to Napoli next time out.

"It was only natural there would be a hangover after such an important game as the Champions League one," the Juve boss told Sky Sport Italia.

"We allowed Bologna very little until the final save that Mattia Perin made to turn it onto the upright.

"This is a crucial result, as it means we'll go into the game with Napoli at least 13 points clear at the top of the table.

"We're glad that Napoli are coming up, because that is an important test for us before Atleti."

Juve have been hit by a spate of injuries and Allegri was forced into fielding a somewhat disjointed line-up, with Joao Cancelo starting on the right wing and Federico Bernardeschi stepping into midfield.

But Allegri is confident that some key players – such as Miralem Pjanic, who appeared as a late substitute despite suffering from illness, and Douglas Costa – will be fit to face Napoli.

"We're hoping to get some players back, although Douglas Costa is probably the only [injured] one who could recover," said Allegri.

"Pjanic has been coughing, sneezing and had a temperature for a week now. I actually asked him before he went on today if he could even breathe properly and he said yes.

"[Giorgio] Chiellini had half a game against Frosinone after that calf injury and then played in Madrid. The fitness levels will certainly improve over the next couple of weeks."

Massimiliano Allegri labelled Paulo Dybala a "clever boy" for apologising following his behaviour during Juventus's 3-3 at home to Parma last weekend.

Dybala was an unused substitute at the Allianz Stadium as a late brace from Gervinho saw Juve make a rare slip up in their Scudetto defence and the Argentina forward left the bench before the end of the game.

Afterwards, Allegri joked Dybala was cold but was privately reported to be furious with the player's actions, with the matter coming to a head at training on Thursday.

"He apologised, as it was right to do from a clever boy like him, to whom the club has given important responsibility – the number 10 jersey and the captain's armband when [Giorgio] Chiellini is not available," Allegri said at a news conference to preview Juve's trip to Sassuolo.

"He had an attitude that is not appropriate, he understood that. Case closed."

Allegri went on to discuss the challenge posed to Dybala by Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival and how it has altered the make-up of the Juventus attack.  

"His position on the field has not changed, only the characteristics of those who play alongside him have," he said.

"The difference is that last year there was [Gonzalo] Higuain and [Mario] Mandzukic; this year there is Ronaldo and Mandzukic.

"He touches the same amount of balls, has the same opportunities. I do not tell him to be a full-back.

"Sometimes you try to find things that do not exist. I laugh when I read certain things but people like to fill their mouths. I listen and enjoy it.

"Tomorrow Dybala or [Federico] Bernardeschi will play. If Dybala plays, he could be the captain but I have to decide."

It has been an eventful weekend off the field for the Serie A champions, with winger Douglas Costa emerging unhurt after crashing his car on Monday.

The former Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk star has struggled for his best form this season since serving a four-match ban handed out for spitting at Sassuolo's Federico Di Francesco in this weekend's reverse fixture.

"It's a strange situation with Douglas Costa. He started the season very well, then did that stupid thing against Sassuolo and was suspended," Allegri explained, having withdrawn the Brazilian through injury at half-time against Parma.

"Then he got injured against Valencia. He needs time to get into the condition and on Saturday he got injured again.

"The rest is private life. The players have time to do everything, they're boys but they have to be good at managing those moments, claiming a higher level of attention.

"Private life management matters, these are things that happen. Fortunately, nothing happened to anyone [in the car accident]. Now we have to be at the top of our physical and mental condition."

Allegri teased the return of Juve's fabled "BBC" defensive line-up of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Chiellini being close after Barzagli returned to training. However the 37-year-old's target at this stage is next weekend's game against Frosinone.

Douglas Costa, Emre Can and Daniele Rugani all scored their first goals of the season as Juventus eased to a 3-0 Serie A win over struggling Chievo on Monday, despite Cristiano Ronaldo having a penalty saved.

Massimiliano Allegri praised the return to form of Douglas Costa after the Brazilian starred in Juventus' 2-0 victory over SPAL on Saturday.

Juve opened up a nine-point gap at the top of Serie A with the win, Costa unlucky not to join Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic on the scoresheet.

Costa was one of six changes made by Allegri after the international break, the 28-year-old having been hampered by an ankle injury earlier in the campaign.

"He started the season well," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"Then he had a bit of rough period due to injuries and other issues, but he's doing well.

"He put in a good performance this evening, above all in terms of personality."

Juve now turn their attention to the Champions League, with the Bianconeri only needing a point against Valencia to secure their progression from Group H.

"Now we are preparing for Tuesday," said defender Leonardo Bonucci. "We can close the qualifying and then play for first place against Young Boys."

Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Juventus winger Douglas Costa has paid a fine for spitting at Sassuolo's Federico Di Francesco and asked the media to move on from the incident. 

Juventus winger Douglas Costa is reportedly facing up to a month out after the club confirmed he suffered ankle and thigh injuries in Wednesday's Champions League win over Valencia. 

Federico Di Francesco has denied provoking Douglas Costa into spitting at him and rejected suggestions he racially abused the Juventus star.

Douglas Costa has apologised for his "ugly" behaviour after he was sent off during Juventus' 2-1 victory over Sassuolo.

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed Juventus will fine Douglas Costa after he was sent off for spitting against Sassuolo, and expects the winger to face a long ban.

Page 1 of 2
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.