The name of Gabriel Barbosa has been continuously mentioned in connection with Crystal Palace over the last few weeks but according to the latest piece of news coming out of Brazil, the striker will only be allowed to make the switch to SE25 if the Eagles stump up €30 million.
Still just 22, Gabigol, as he is affectionately known by the Santos faithful, has some two-and-a-half years left to run on the contract he signed with Inter Milan in the summer of 2016, making the Italians all the more weary of letting him fly the nest on the cheap. Admittedly, his time in Europe did little to convince anyone that he was capable of coping with Serie A’s demands but his form since returning to Brazil has forced Inter’s hierarchy to second guess their initial prognosis.
In spells with Inter and Benfica, Barbosa managed just two goals in 15 appearances, doing little to win over an increasingly sceptical audience. That said, since returning to Santos, the frontman has been on fire, bagging 25 goals in 49 appearances, igniting Palace’s interest in offering him a chance to prove himself in the Premier League.
Sadly, that upturn in his personal fortunes has had a dramatic impact on his value in the eyes of his Italian employers, who are now said to be keen to re-test him in their first team or sell him for a hefty fee and move on completely; either way, it likely puts a halt to any ambitions Palace had of landing the striker over the course of the January transfer window.
There is little to no debate over the fact that Palace are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements heading into the New Year but with proven goal scorers always in short supply, particularly partway through a league campaign, we’ll have to pull a needle out of the haystack if we are to stumble across a 10-goal man within our price-range during the opening weeks of 2019.
Ah, the stress of a transfer window, don’t you just love it?