Newcastle United could do a ‘simple’ deal for Flamengo forward Gabriel Barbosa this month, according to The Chronicle‘s Lee Ryder.
The 25-year-old has previously had stints at Inter Milan and Benfica, but he made little impact at either club. At least he is highly regarded by his country, though, with 17 caps under his belt, and he was most recently called up for October’s World Cup qualifiers.
Writing for The Chronicle, Ryder claimed that Barbosa has been made available for loan and is ‘eager’ to test himself in Europe once again.
It would be a quite straightforward transfer – an initial loan with ‘a £17million deal on offer’ at its culmination.
Sources close to the player have indicated that he ‘likes’ the idea of joining Newcastle, and the 25-year-old would apparently relish the idea of linking up with his compatriot Joelinton at St James’ Park.
Newcastle made an enquiry pre-Christmas but have not gone any further for now. They’re waiting to find out how long the injured Callum Wilson will be sidelined, with the club hopeful that Eddie Howe’s initial prognosis of a ‘months’-long absence may prove overly pessimistic.
Even if Wilson’s current injury isn’t as bad as first feared, Newcastle could certainly do with stronger cover. Based on the 29-year-old’s injury history, there’s a very real possibility that he could be sidelined again before the end of the season.
Current deputies Joelinton and Dwight Gayle have only managed 33 goals in 228 combined Premier League appearances, and while Barbosa still needs to prove that he can do it in Europe, his record for Flamengo is mighty. He netted 29 goals last season, taking him to 84 in 124 appearances for the club.
Bringing him to St James’ Park may seem a gamble, but based on his recent record and the dearth of firepower currently available to Howe, it appears a gamble worth taking.
In other news, Newcastle have made an offer for this Champions League ace
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