West Ham United have reportedly made a bid for Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa as David Moyes looks to add to his squad ahead of the January transfer window closing in just over a week.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, journalist Peter O’Rourke has confirmed that the Hammers have been negotiating a deal to sign Barbosa on an initial loan deal from the Brazilian outfit.
“They’re still in and around Gabigol but the problem is Flamengo would prefer a straight-up sale for the Brazilian striker,” said O’Rourke.
“West Ham are trying to negotiate a loan deal with an option to buy and so far Flamengo are not interested in that, so it’s a bit of a stalemate at the minute.”
Chasing Champions League football with one senior striker is a disaster waiting to happen for the Irons. Luckily, Antonio has only missed one Premier League game for West Ham this season but could easily pick up an injury or suspension over the final months of the season.
The Hammers have been able to find goals of late from their wingers, with Jarred Bowen in particularly hot form, scoring four goals in his last four games. However, that isn’t sustainable and the east Londoners will need to add depth to their attack.
Valued at £23.4m by Transfermarkt, Barbosa’s record for Flamengo is particularly impressive, scoring 84 goals in 123 appearances for current employers Flamengo, with the Brazilian outfit signing the 25-year-old from Inter Milan two years ago.
In fact, Flamengo legend Zico showered the striker in high praise, stating: “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. He is young and can do much more, and hopefully, he can do it. Doing this is always good to give joy to the Rubro-Negro fan and, logically, we always expect this from a guy who has the potential that he has.”
Granted, the Brazilian has already endured spells in Europe which proved unsuccessful, making just ten appearances for Inter Milan and scoring once as well as playing in five matches for Benfica, also scoring once.
However, West Ham, in the predicament that they’re in, cannot ignore a goal record like the one Barbosa has at Flamengo, regardless of the level at which he has been playing.
Not only is Antonio Moyes’ only senior striker, but he hasn’t exactly set the world alight this campaign. After a prolific start to the season where he scored five goals in his first six Premier League games of the season, the Jamaica international has only found the back of the net on three occasions in the top-flight since.
If the Hammers are serious about making a push for a top-four finish, it is vital that they add at least one reinforcement up front.
Meanwhile, West Ham target is made available for sale…