According to the Daily Mail, Inter Milan are prepared to sell Gabriel Barbosa in January for £18 million, with Everton, West Ham and Crystal Palace all reportedly keen on bringing the 22-year-old to the Premier League.
Inter Milan signed Barbosa – commonly known as Gabigol – in 2016, when the forward was considered by some to be the next Neymar.
Things did not go to plan for the 2016 Olympic gold medallist in Italy though. After failing to make an impact at the San Siro, he joined Benfica on loan where his struggles only worsened.
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A second loan stint followed, with Barbosa re-joining his boyhood club, Santos.
Back in familiar surroundings, good form returned, with the 4-cap Brazil international racking up 27 goals in 53 games. This return may not have inspired Inter to give the forward another chance to prove his worth in Serie A, but it should certainly give West Ham cause to win the race to his signature.
The Hammers have certainly improved their attacking contingent in recent transfer windows, with the arrivals of Marko Arnautovic, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko all representing fine acquisitions.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s squad lacks effective depth up front, especially given Andy Carroll’s injury woes and Lucas Perez’s inability to make an impact since his arrival at the London Stadium.
If West Ham are serious about becoming a greater force in English football, and pushing for European qualification on a regular basis, then Barbosa is a player of the standard required. The Brazilian remains a supreme talent with huge potential and, what’s more, he certainly has a point to prove.