United ready to step up scouting in Brazil

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson, who retains an interest in bringing Douglas Costa of Gremio to Old Trafford, has revealed that Manchester United have deployed a second scout in Brazil to scour what he considers to be one of the best areas in the world to scout for players.

In a radio interview in the US, Ferguson also provided more hints that he has had to work on keeping striker Federico Macheda's feet on the ground after his dramatic goals against Aston Villa and Sunderland shot him to prominence last season. "I've got to be careful when I talk about Italian players you know," he said. "The thing about Macheda of course is that he had a great first season. He was only 17 when he made his debut, and scored that winning goal against Aston Villa.

"That projected him into a different kind of profile. Most people hadn't even heard of the boy. Now we're having to deal with the improvement of the lad, and he's got strong, and he's got bigger, he's an outstanding finisher. We're trying to improve parts of his game which will be important for his development as a top player."

Ferguson revealed that when he saw the striker with two Italian girls after United lost in the Champions League final in Rome, he quipped: "When I was 17 I had three girls! It's wishful thinking," Ferguson explained. "I did say that to him and he was quite impressed."

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