Manchester United-linked Douglas Coutinho edges closer to transfer, bids farewell

Atletico Paranense striker Douglas Coutinho looks set to leave the club amid talk of a move to Manchester United.

Even after snapping up Radamel Falcao from Monaco, Manchester United look set to pursue another striker in the January transfer window.

It's not a great surprise, though. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao are all either over or approaching 30, meaning that Louis van Gaal should be targeting a younger, pacier forward.

With links to Trabzonspor's Abdul Majeed Waris, it seems that van Gaal has a specific mould on mind, and Atletico Paranaense's Douglas Coutinho is another alternative.

The 20-year-old Brazilian has impressed with Atletico, scoring 19 goals in 64 games, and his agent recently confirmed that there is interest from the Red Devils.

Now, a deal looks even closer after the young striker said goodbye to Paranaense fans at the end of their match against Goias earlier this week.

Having thrown his shirt into the crowd, Coutinho wrote a message to bid farewell to the club ahead of a January transfer with United favourites to land him.

"I am proud to say I am Atletico at heart. Thank you for everything you did for me and giving me an opportunity to succeed in life. Yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life, I will never forget it," said Coutinho.

Atletico Madrid and Porto are also believed to be in the race to sign Coutinho, but United remain the favourites for his signature - and Coutinho's comments suggest a January move is something of a formality.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch