Brazil starlet Douglas Costa has not given up on a move to Manchester United despite being shunned by Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 19-year-old - dubbed the 'New Ronaldinho' - has left Gremio for UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk in a £5.8million deal.
And despite signing a five-year contract, the playmaker has stunned his new employers by admitting he could be off to a bigger club within 12 months.
'I won't stay at Shakhtar for a lifetime, but for one or two years,' he said before leaving Porto Alegre en route to Donetsk. 'The plan is for this to be a stepping stone to reaching my goal, which is to play for a big club in Europe.'
Costa had been tracked by United for more than a year, but the Barclays Premier League champions went cold on a deal, in part because of doubts about his motivation and off-the-pitch behaviour.
Sportsmail revealed 15 months ago that Ferguson had sent his former defender Jaap Stam on a scouting mission to Brazil to watch the Brazil Under 20 international.
Despite impressing when breaking into the Gremio first team, Costa soon fell out of favour and United's interest waned when their offer of a three-week trial was rejected in the summer.
While United rated him at about £6.5m, Gremio at the time insisted his buyout clause of £25m must be met.
However, his club have now cashed in, though the £5.8m fee is deceptively low because Gremio retain a 20 per cent stake in the player.
Sunnier climbs: Shakhtar won the 2009 UEFA Cup
Shakhtar returned with a compromise bid after talks had broke down last month and Costa was surprised by the speed of events this week.
'I was not expecting it,' he said. 'I only thought of Gremio. Today I think about Donetsk and I'm extremely happy.
'That's two times they tried to sign me. I do not know if this is the right time to leave but I mostly thought about my family.'
Costa follows a well-trod path to Europe by joining Shakhtar, who now have eight impressive Brazilians on their books.
Alex Teixeira, a 20-year-old midfielder previously watched by United and Chelsea, also joined Shakhtar this winter in a £5.4m move from Vasco da Gama.
Costa and Teixeira's competitive debuts are likely to come against Fulham in the Europa League next month.
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