Crystal Palace will allegedly be targetting Inter Milan forward Gabriel Barbosa in the January transfer window.
According to reports from Passioneinter (via Sports Mole), Roy Hodgson’s side are preparing a shock move for the forward, who is on loan at Flamengo until the end of the season.
The report goes on to state that Palace are willing to meet Inter’s asking price, reported to be in the region of $30m (£26.11m).
Barbosa joined Inter back in 2016, where he was dubbed as the next potential Neymar (The Sun), however, his £26.55m deal has not worked out for the Italian club. So far since arriving at San Siro, he has played just 10 games, scoring just once.
Roy Hodgson has made no illusions to what this Palace team needs in January – strikers and full-backs.
In a recent interview in the Evening Standard, the Palace boss admitted that if the club wants to even start dreaming of Europe, they need to bolster their options in those positions.
He said: “If we are going to get close, we are going to have to make certain that we are not reliant on so few forwards and full-backs. That is something we will have to address in the January transfer window.”
At the moment, Palace currently have Jordan Ayew, Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham as options upfront. While Ayew has been great this season, he may not be exactly what Palace are after as their first choice in the long-term considering he played just 20 times under Hodgson last season; Benteke is into the final year of his contract and has not been trusted to start since the second game and Connor Wickham has barely played in the past few years due to injuries and is also in his final year.
Given that the Brazil international hasn’t had the greatest time in Europe, a fee of £26m would represent a real risk for Palace.
However, his goalscoring record in Brazil is really impressive. Just this season the 23-year-old has scored 18 in 18 for Flamengo, as well as getting four assists – so it is evidently clear there is a player who has immense goalscoring pedigree and can do it in high-pressure situations.
In all honesty, despite Barbosa potentially being a stroke of genius, it will be hard for Palace to justify this if it all goes wrong. Benteke has restricted the club in the transfer window with his massive contribution to the “onerous wage bill” at the club (the Guardian).
What Palace need is goals. Eight in eight isn’t good enough if they really want to be pushing into the top half, so they need someone who they can rely on.
With Michy Batshuayi linked back to the Eagles for a fee of £22m (The Express), it just seems a more sensible option. Batshuayi has proved he can score goals at this level, knows the squad and while he might ask for bigger wages, Palace fans know he can be trusted to finish.
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