Agent of Juventus 28-year-old star claims Maurizio Sarri blocked summer transfer to Man United

Douglas Costa’s agent has claimed that Manchester United had a ‘strong interest’ in the forward this summer, but Maurizio Sarri had no intention of letting him leave Juventus.

Injury problems meant Costa only managed seven league starts for Juventus last season and the 28-year-old winger was heavily linked with a move away from Turin ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

However, Sarri – who took over the reins from Massimiliano Allegri in mid-June – views Costa as a key part of his project at Juve and stood firm while the Brazilian’s future was in serious doubt.

Costa has since started Juventus’ two opening matches of the season against Parma and Napoli, providing two assists against the latter at the Allianz Stadium.

‘I sincerely say that Allegri and Sarri have never thought of letting him go,’ Costa’s agent Giovanni Branchini told The Daily Mail. ‘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.’

Branchini insists Costa is determined to take his game to the next level after a frustrating season under Allegri last term.

‘Douglas has had countless health problems,’ he added. ‘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.’

Branchini refused to rule out Costa joining a Premier League club in the future despite United’s failed pursuit this summer.

‘Douglas is a “cool” professional in the best sense of the word. He is able to adapt to everything,’ he said. ‘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.’