Newcastle United have been linked with a January move for Gabriel Barbosa.
According to 90min, the Brazilian forward wants to return to Europe and is keen to join a Premier League club.
The report adds that Newcastle are ‘in the hunt for his signature’, alongside Arsenal, Everton Aston Villa and West Ham. Bayer Leverkusen and Villarreal are also named as possible destinations, while Italian clubs have also reportedly made enquiries.
The Flamengo ace has a lot of options if 90min’s report is correct, and he’s a player who could fit in wonderfully at St James’ Park.
And he’s a player who the Newcastle recruitment team know all about.
Newcastle eyed Gabriel Barbosa two years ago
The Chronicle reported in November 2019 that Newcastle scouts had been watching Barbosa, also known as ‘Gabigol’, before his brace in that year’s Copa Libertadores final.
The report added that the Magpies likely wouldn’t make a move at that time, despite their forward line consisting of Joelinton, Dwight Gayle, Yoshinori Muto and Andy Carroll.
Newcastle did get the goalscorer they needed in 2020, signing Callum Wilson for £20million. But his injury record proves that the Magpies are still light in attack.
Gabigol would be ideal for Newcastle
While Newcastle aren’t struggling for goals as much as they were before Wilson arrived, we’re snookered if he picks up an injury, which is always a possibility.
And Gabigol’s goalscoring record in Brazil shows what an exciting signing he would be.
He’s now in his third season with Flamengo, so far scoring 84 goals in all competitions. He’s also provided 33 assists.
Barbosa has been lethal in South America, and wants to show his scoring touch in Europe.
He has played in Europe before, but struggled at Inter Milan and subsequently on loan at Benfica.
But he’s improved a lot since then, and still has room for even more improvement at the age of 25.
Newcastle definitely need more competition up front. Wilson is the club’s only natural goalscorer right now, while Eddie Howe appears to be going with a front two.
Barbosa would be an exciting addition. Whether it’s playing alongside Wilson or acting as his competition, the Brazil international would massively improve Howe’s squad.
90min add that he could cost in excess of £30million, but he would be a worthwhile investment for the Magpies given his age.