Once widely seen as the heir apparent to Neymar in Brazil until the likes of Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. rocked up, Gabriel Barbosa’s time post Santos hasn’t quite gone the same way as the Paris Saint-Germain star.
Transferred to Inter, the forward struggled in Italy and is now back at Santos, where his loan deal is soon coming to an end.
The Serie A side, having signed Lautaro Martinez over the summer, don’t have him in their plans going forward, which is why they’re now trying to offload him elsewhere in Europe, where West Ham, Crystal Palace and Everton are all reportedly interested.
Those names won’t come as a surprise to many, but Corriere dello Sport explain that Inter’s director of football, Piero Ausilio, was in England on Wednesday for his club’s game against Tottenham, and he used that time to hold transfer meetings, most likely with members from the West Ham, Crystal Palace and Everton.
Who he met isn’t revealed, but the Italian newspaper do mention those three clubs, currently all in need of some kind of forward.
Capable of either playing through the middle or down the right, the Brazilian would, for example, be an ideal replacement in Manuel Pellegrini’s side for the injured Andriy Yarmolenko, who is expected to be out until the end of April with an Achilles issue.
Everton are another case in point, yet to find the prolific replacement for Lukaku, with both Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson sitting top of their goalscorer chart this season with six.
Cenk Tosun, for example, on whom the club spent over £20m, only has two.
As for Crystal Palace, goals have also been hard to come by, as Roy Hodgson heavily relies on Wilfried Zaha to both create and score, and bringing someone like Gabriel Barbosa would certainly help ease the burden on the Ivory Coast international, who only has one more goal in the league than defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic.
Inter’s ideal plan would be to sell the 22-year-old outright, having valued him at €18m not too long ago, but they know that could be difficult in January, so a loan could be negotiated as long as the club taking him in takes on a good chunk of the player’s wages.
We’ll undoubtedly have more updates on this soon.
On loan at Santos for the Brazilian season, Barbosa scored 18 goals in 35 games in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.