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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Douglas Costa moves to Gremio on loan for 2021-22 season

One less large salary to worry about for next season.

AS Roma v Juventus FC - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

We’re still over a month out from the summer transfer officially being open for business, but Juventus has made their first when it comes to who won’t be on their roster for the 2021-22 season.

And it’s a rather expected move at that.

Juventus announced Friday that Brazilian winger Douglas Costa is heading back to his homeland. Costa, who spent this season on loan for a second stint with Bayern Munich, will now play for the club he grew up at in Brazil: Gremio. Costa has joined Gremio on a free loan for the 2021-22 season, seeing out the final season of the contract he signed when he first joined Juventus outright in the summer of 2018.

The brief, no-nonsense statement from Juventus is as follows:

Douglas Costa has officially signed for Gremio on a free loan from Juventus.

The Brazilian winger, who joined Juventus back in 2017 and spent this past season on loan at Bayern Munich, will wear the shirt of the Porto Alegre outfit until 30 June 2022.

That’s about the length of a statement that you would expect for a player who really had no future at Juventus — and now he will be seeing out the final year of his contract in South America.

But with how Costa has played the last couple of seasons, the fact that he won’t be a Juventus player come the start of next season is really no surprise.

After a 2019-20 season where he he had as many injuries as memorable moments — or maybe even more of the former than the latter — things didn’t get all that much better during his return campaign in Munich. Costa appeared in just 11 Bundesliga games for the German champions. He scored all of one goal, recorded all of one assist and played a grand total of ... 316 minutes in league play.

That’s far from the player we saw lighting up Serie A and quickly becoming one of the league’s best playmakers. The electric Flash we saw during his early days with Juventus was far from the player we saw for much of the last couple of years. And now, as he is a few months off from his 31st birthday, he’s heading back to Brazil and potentially setting himself to end his career where it started.