Report: Manchester United risk losing Brazilian prospect as La Liga giants eye bid

Atletico Stadium

Atletico Madrid have reportedly joined the race to sign Atletico Paranaense striker Douglas Coutinho.

Manchester United may have splashed out £150m on new talent this summer, but manager Louis van Gaal is widely expected to spend more money in the January transfer window.

Bringing in new defenders has to be a priority for van Gaal, whilst midfielders may also be on the Dutchman's transfer wish list in the New Year.

However, van Gaal may yet look to add a new striker. By May, Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin Persie will all be 29 or over, and adding a younger striker with some pace.

Van Gaal relied heavily on the speed of Arjen Robben at this summer's World Cup as he guided the Netherlands to the semi-finals in Brazil, and it's no shock to see him linked with quick forwards.

Trabzonspor's Ghanaian speedster Abdul Majeed Waris has been scouted by Ryan Giggs ahead of a possible January bid from the Red Devils, whilst another new name was linked late last week.

Atletico Paranaense forward Douglas Coutinho, 20, has scored 19 goals in 64 games for the Brazilian club, and his exploits in his homeland have led to reported interested from United.

With Atletico Paranaense strapped for cash after the World Cup, they're reportedly willing to part with their prized asset for £7.5m, and his agent admitted that he's heading for talks at Old Trafford to gauge United's interest.

However, things aren't quite sewn up just yet. According to reports in Spain, Atletico Madrid are set to enter the race for his signature after learning of his availability.

Manager Diego Simeone brought in the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Raul Jimenez and Alessio Cerci this summer, but with the latter two failing to make much of an impact, the Atleti boss has turned his attention to Coutinho.

It would be a blow for United to miss out on one of their potential targets, but with a modest record in Brazil, they shouldn't get into a bidding war over Coutinho. Instead, focusing on Waris or other targets could be beneficial for United if Atletico do firm up their interest in the Brazilian youngster.

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