West Ham United have been dealt a major blow in their bid to secure a deal to bring Gabriel Barbosa to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a claim made by Anton Toloui, with the Sky Sports journalist revealing on Good Morning Transfers that, despite there being an offer on the table from West Ham, Gabigol’s agent has stated that the 25-year-old is happy in Brazil, and will only leave Flamengo for a bigger club than the Serie A side.
Speaking about the Hammers’ interest in the centre-forward, Toloui said: “You can see that a need [for a new striker] is increasing [for West Ham]. Gabriel Barbosa is the man they’ve targeted, the former Brazilian wonderkid who went to Inter [Milan] early in his career. It didn’t quite work, [he] went back to South America with Flamengo, won the Copa Libertadores and his stock is high again now.
“West Ham came in with a loan deal at the beginning of January – an 18-month loan with a view to a permanent move. Interestingly, his agent has come out over the weekend, Junior Pedroso, [and] told Globo in Brazil: ‘An offer did come in, the player is happy at Flamengo [and] he will only move back to Europe for a project that is bigger than the one he has currently at Flamengo’.”
With the signing of a new centre-forward very much being the priority for West Ham over the remainder of the January transfer window, the news that Gabigol appears to be unconvinced of a move to East London this winter is sure to have left Hammers fans livid.
Indeed, considering just how impressive the 25-year-old has been for Flamengo in recent seasons, the £23.4m-rated man would have appeared to make a fantastic addition to David Moyes’ current options in attack.
Over his 18 Serie A appearances last season, the Brazil international bagged 12 goals, provided five assists and created seven big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 3.6 shots and making 1.1 key passes per game.
The former Inter Milan forward also highly impressed over his 13 Copa Libertadores outings last term, scoring 11 goals, registering four assists and creating five big chances for his teammates – with these returns seeing Gabigol average an even more remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.57.
As such, it is clear for all to see that the signing of the 25-year-old would have been something of a coup for the Hammers, however, following Toloui’s latest update, whether Moyes will be able to convince the Brazilian of a move to the London Stadium this month appears very much up in the air at present.