Aston Villa are in the race to sign Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa, but are set to face stiff competition from a Premier League rival.
According to Eurosport, Steven Gerrard’s side are battling West Ham to land the 25-year-old, with both clubs exploring the option of signing a new striker on a short-term loan deal in January.
It’s claimed that with Gabriel now potentially becoming available on loan, the striker himself will weigh up his options before deciding on his next move.
Affectionately known as Gabigol, the 25-year-old has scored an incredible 84 goals for Flamengo in 124 appearances – that includes 29 strikes in just 43 matches during the course of the 2020/2021 season. In total, he has 129 goals to his name over the course of his professional career thus far.
It’s unsurprising then that he’s seemingly etched himself into folklore in Brazilian football with Flamengo, and, talking about the forward back in February, Brazil icon Zico declared: “I think Gabigol has everything to be the greatest striker in Flamengo’s history. It’s getting there. His performance got better and better, consolidating himself as one of the greats. He’s already gone down in history.”
While he may not have really showcased his skills outside his native Brazil – he hardly set the world alight in his short spells in Italy and Portugal – a short-term deal could prove to be a masterclass for both him and Villa.
It would get rid of any of the weight and expectation that would come with a big-money move, and allow him to just come in a bit more freely. In turn, it would also give Villa some valuable added depth up front, while he can also operate out wide and just behind the number nine too.
It has all the hallmarks of being a potentially very exciting signing for Villa this January.