Juventus Turin’s Giuseppe Marotta confirmed today that the record champions of Italy will indeed activate their option to purchase Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich, who has been with the Italian club on loan this season. Juve will pay a fee of €46 million for the Brazilian winger, who will become—for now—the most lucrative sale in Bayern’s history.
Bayern signed Douglas Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015, but after just two seasons in Munich both parties seemed to have soured on one another. Hampered by injuries, Costa’s production dropped significantly under Carlo Ancelotti, who clearly preferred Franck Ribery, and Bayern president Uli Hoeness bristled at what he perceived to be unwarranted demands for “more money.”
Despite the record fee that Costa will bring Bayern, his final departure south of the Alps still seems somewhat like a loss. Our own Phillip Quinn recently argued that Bayern should do everything in its power to persuade Costa to return, so that the club will have a player on the wings who is neither a raw youngster nor an aged veteran.
Obviously, any effort to convince Costa to return would be a long shot. He has thrived in Torino: 6 goals and 14 assists, and MVP performances in their late Champions League campaign. But the finality of Costa’s sale still evokes thoughts of what might have been—if the stars had been aligned differently, if personalities hadn’t clashed, if coaching decisions had been different, if Costa himself had not declined so precipitously after his incredible first half-season.
But that bridge has been burnt, especially since Hoeness outright labeled Costa a mercenary like Ousmane Dembélé or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The dream of “team Coco, with Kingsley Coman out left and Douglas Costa our right on Bayern's wings, is dead. In bocca al lupo, Douglas!