Ranieri phone call puts Leicester ahead of Man United & Euro giants in transfer battle

Leicester City are now at the front of the queue for Santos’ Gabriel Barbosa thanks to Claudio Ranieri’s personal phone call to the player’s father, according to Emanuele Giulianelli.

The 19-year-old forward has been earning rave reviews for his fledgling performances in Brazil, winning senior international caps and a spot in the Selecao’s U-23 set-up for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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Gabriel, nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ thanks to his impressive strike-rate with Santos, has already been lauded as the ‘new Neymar’ given his playing style and the fact he’s emerged at the same club the now Barcelona ace broke through with, and, naturally, he’s attracted much attention.

Indeed, reports have already claimed that Manchester United representatives have spoken to the Brazilian club’s president regarding the teenager, and now Giulianelli, writing in his TribalFootball column, has revealed that Leicester have edged to the front o the queue for him.

It’s understood that Ranieri has personally spoken to the attacker’s father and has done such a good job of selling the Leicester ‘project’ to him that the move is appealing to Gabriel, despite interest from Juventus and Inter Milan.

It’s believed that the Italian tactician wants to create a forward line of the youngster and Jamie Vardy, with Riyad Mahrez supporting them from the flank.

Leicester are reported to have offered £23.2m for Gabriel.

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