Douglas Costa

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Brazil winger Douglas Costa ready to give Juventus a boost

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TURIN, Italy (AP) Brazil winger Douglas Costa is ready to provide a boost to a Juventus squad that has lost two key players in the transfer market.

[ VIDEO: Costa parties in Atletico shirt

Costa was presented Monday after joining Juventus on a season-long loan from Bayern Munich for 6 million euros ($7 million). The deal requires the Italian champion to purchase his full rights within a year for 40 million euros ($45 million).

Costa says, “I hope to adapt quickly. …This is the perfect club for me at the perfect moment. This project has enormous potential and I am excited to play a part in that. With the World Cup next summer too, this was the ideal chance for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Defender Leonardo Bonucci is in the process of transferring from Juventus to rival AC Milan, while fullback Dani Alves left for Paris Saint-Germain.

Even with Juventus having lost this year’s Champions League final, Costa says he’s “sure to have joined the squad at the right time,” adding that he wants to provide “many assists” for forward Gonzalo Higuain.

Reports: Douglas Costa close to Juventus move

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According to multiple reports in Germany and Italy, Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa is headed to Juventus on a permanent basis.

The 26-year-old Brazilian has been in and out of the Bayern squad, but now may get a move to the Italian champions. Sky Sports Germany claims that a move is imminent, although haggling over a transfer fee is ongoing. Sky Sports Italy has also run the story, claiming that Juventus will pay around $45 million, with the fee spread out over two years.

[ MORE: Saturday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

In order to delay the total cost, Juve will reportedly take Costa on loan first for two years at a fee of $12 million fee, with an obligation to purchase at the end of the loan for $33 million. Juventus and Bayern are known for doing business in this way in both directions, doing the same with both KLingsley Coman and Medhi Benatia in the past.

Costa made 23 Bundesliga appearances last season, but only 14 of those were starts. He scored four goals and assisted six others, but struggled to break into the squad with manager Carlo Ancelotti preferring Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery out wide, or choosing a lineup without wingers and having his full-backs press high.

UCL: Arsenal embarrassed, loses 10-2 on aggregate

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  • Walcott gives early hope
  • Koscielny sent off, 54′
  • Lewandowski converts PK
  • Brace for Vidal
  • Robben, Costa also score

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski eliminated all Arsenal hope when he won and converted a penalty kick in a 5-1 win in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match-up at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Arsenal had gone ahead 1-0 through Theo Walcott, but still trailed 5-2 on aggregate, when Laurent Koscielny tripped up Lewandowski in the box. Koscielny was shown red.

The final score was 10-2 on aggregate, and the 5-1 home loss was the worst home blowout in Arsenal’s European history.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

A couple of chances went by the wayside before Arsenal went in front through Walcott. Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer was prepared for a low shot, and Walcott ripped a high attempt that Neuer could only parry into the goal.

Arturo Vidal fouled Hector Bellerin in nodding a cross at David Ospina, as Bayern looked for a quick answer.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

Walcott had a very similar chance from a tighter angle, and blasted the contested shot off the outside of the net.

Robert Lewandowski missed a 38th minute chance to put the tie to bed when he mishit Arjen Robben’s looped pass wide of Ospina’s goal.

For as lopsided a score line as it was, Arsenal had plenty of chances to narrow it. Olivier Giroud nearly headed an Aaron Ramsey cross past Neuer in the 48th minute, putting it just over the bar.

Bayern came close to leveling the leg when Mats Hummels raced onto a free kick to redirect the ball past Ospina, but replays showed he was correctly ruled offside.

Lewandowski then worked Nacho Monreal to get free on goal, and was taken down by Laurent Koscielny. It began as a yellow card but was upgraded to a red for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

Arsenal would be down a man before it went down 6-2, which it did when Lewandowski bested Ospina.

Robben then looked to work a 1-2 with Lewandowski before beating Alexis Sanchez to the business end. Ospina couldn’t stop Robben’s shot, and it was 7-2.

It certainly could’ve gotten worse. Costa roasted Bellerin and squared the ball into the six where Lewandowski’s sliding effort spun off the far post.

Costa got his goal in the 78th minute when he cut around Montreal to beat a flying Ospina. And the goalkeeper was faced with a 2-on-0 when Lewandowski deferred to Vidal for a chipped finish. It wasn’t the last 2-on-0. Costa fed Vidal in the 85th minute to complete the bloodbath.

Bayern back on top of Bundesliga before massive Leipzig showdown

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BERLIN (AP) Douglas Costa’s fine second-half strike was enough for Bayern Munich to return to the top of the Bundesliga with a labored 1-0 win at bottom side Darmstadt on Sunday.

Bayern leads on goal difference from promoted Leipzig before the sides meet in Munich on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Chelsea go 9 points clear; Man Utd streaking ]

It seemed the defending champions were already looking ahead to the next game as they produced an uninspired performance against Darmstadt, which had fired coach Norbert Meier on Monday after six straight losses.

“It wasn’t FC Bayern,” goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said.

The home side made a bright start under interim coach Ramon Berndroth. Bayern needed Thiago Alcantara to make a last-ditch block to deny Sandro Sirigu on a counterattack prompted by Arturo Vidal’s wayward pass seconds after kickoff.

Jan Rosenthal went close for the hosts after a corner minutes later and Bayern didn’t threaten until the 40th, when Mats Hummels’ penalty appeal went unheeded. TV replays showed the Germany defender was fouled by Mario Vrancic. Thomas Mueller drew a save from Michael Esser in the Darmstadt goal early in the second half.

But Bayern looked short of ideas against the hard-working Darmstadt, which was running more and restricting the visitors’ space. Another lost ball from Vidal had coach Carlo Ancelotti throw his hands up in exasperation on the sidelines. The Chilean midfielder made way for Franck Ribery with over 20 minutes remaining.

[ MORE: La Liga — Messi dazzles as Barcelona cruise past Espanyol ]

A moment of individual brilliance was needed for the breakthrough and it came from Costa in the 71st, when the Brazilian let fly with a superb swerving strike from 25 meters (yards) into the goal off the underside of the crossbar.

Peter Niemeyer should have equalized from the rebound when Neuer stopped Jerome Gondorf’s free kick but the Darmstadt defender headed straight back at the Bayern `keeper with the goal beckoning.

“In the end the most important thing is to win and stay first. So I’m satisfied,” Ancelotti said. “But we can play better and faster. We’ll give our best against Leipzig on Wednesday.”

In Sunday’s other Bundesliga match, Ingolstadt earned a much-needed victory at Bayer Leverkusen.

[ MORE: Serie A — Juventus beat 2nd-place Roma, go 7 points clear ]

Previously bottom Ingolstadt climbed above Hamburger SV into the relegation playoff place with its second successive win, while Leverkusen fans whistled their side off at halftime and again at full time in frustration.

Alfredo Morales put the visitors in front midway through the first half with a powerful header from Markus Suttner’s fine cross.

It got worse for Leverkusen early in the second half when Charles Aranguiz earned his second yellow card for a check on Anthony Jung after losing the ball.

But the sending off seemed to spur a response from the home side, which equalized in the 63rd through Admir Mehmedi just after Almog Cohen should have scored at the other end.

The Israeli midfielder atoned for his miss with what proved to be the winner 10 minutes later.

Injury means Brazil won’t have Douglas Costa for Olympics

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Bayern Munich brings us the disappointing news that star midfielder Douglas Costa has pulled out of the Olympics.

[ MORE: NUFC’s high Sissoko fee ]

The 25-year-old attack-minded Costa was one of three overage players on the roster for the Games in Rio, but a thigh injury has cost him the chance to represent the home nation.

From FCBayern.de:

“I greatly regret this,” commented FC Bayern München AG chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “We all wanted Douglas to contest the Olympic Games in his home country, but the player’s health and fitness takes priority.”

I don’t want Orlando fans to hate me, but could Kaka take his place as an overage player (He’s just returning to fitness for the Lions)? Hulk? Alex Teixeira?