Aston Villa are reportedly monitoring Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa, having previously been linked with the Brazilian in January.
According to 90min, the Midlands side are said to be ‘keeping tabs’ on Barbosa – better known as Gabigol – with his current side believed to be open to a departure, having been unwilling to do a deal in the winter window.
Reports at the time suggested that the 25-year-old – who endured a previous, difficult stint at Inter Milan – is keen on a return to European football, with Villa believed to be one of a number of clubs interested in securing his signature.
A top-class centre-forward would appear to be on Steven Gerrard’s wishlist this summer, amid suggestions that former Southampton man Danny Ings could be moved on just a year after arriving at Villa Park in a £25m deal.
The 29-year-old found goals hard to come by in a frustrating debut campaign, netting just seven goals in 30 Premier League appearances, while striker partner Ollie Watkins was also far from prolific having scored 11 league goals.
With putting the ball in the back of the net seemingly an issue, sporting director Johan Lange appears to have identified Gabigol as the man to be the solution, the £23.4m-rated ace having scored a remarkable 101 goals in just 155 games for his current side, while also providing 28 assists.
The 5 foot 10 marksman also enjoyed two similarly devastating spells at fellow Brazilian side Santos, netting 43 goals in 125 appearances in total having started his career at the club, before later returning on a loan deal from Inter.
His switch to Italy in 2016 may have ultimately ended in disappointment – as he scored just once in ten games in total and spent much of his time out on loan – yet for the most part he has proven himself something of a “goalscoring machine”, as per scout Andre Noruega.
In a seismic summer which has seen Erling Haaland join Manchester City and Darwin Nunez arrive at Liverpool, Barbosa could be the next high profile, centre-forward addition to the Premier League, with both he and the latter man, in particular, marked as similar players, as per Football Transfers.
That may be a bold claim considering Nunez has already proven himself in European football – netting 34 goals for Benfica last term – yet he also had to make that transition from South America originally, having begun life with Uruguayan outfit, Penarol.
The hope for Gerrard and co will be that they should he get his man this summer, the striker can go on to adjust to life in a new league and on a new continent just as easily, with it perhaps time that he is afforded another chance to shine in Europe.