Stories linking Palace with a January swoop for Brazilian international striker Gabriel Barbosa have been swirling for a few weeks now but it seems as though Everton have edged ahead of Roy Hodgson and co. in the race to secure his signature.
Having initially made a name for himself at Santos, Barbosa made a €30 million move to Inter Milan in the summer of 2016 but struggled to ever truly adapt to the Italian style of play. Indeed, after making just 10 appearances with one goal scored in Milan, “Gabigol” was sent on loan to Benfica, where sadly for him, he also struggled to make any sort of tangible impact.
After much deliberation, a deal was struck which saw him move back on loan to Santos for the entirety of 2018 but now, with that agreement set to expire, speculation is gathering pace as to what the precocious young talent’s next move will be. In truth, the 27 goals he’s bagged in just 53 appearances during his second stint with Santos has likely altered Inter’s perspective over a sale, with the Italian giants seemingly unwilling to agree to another loan deal.
With Everton apparently far more willing than Palace to part with the €30 million being asked for, it would seem we stand little chance of landing Barbosa but in all honesty, given his previous struggles in Europe, I would feel immediately jittery over a deal which saw us parting with that much cash to land him. Given our current predicament we need players who will come in and graft for the collective cause, leaving me to feel as though it would simply be a gamble too far on our part.
It’s a shame given Barbosa’s obvious potential but at this time, Inter’s demands just don’t seem to align with our business model at the current time. Should he make the switch to Merseyside and prove an instant hit we may well feel like kicking ourselves but you’d imagine we will now move on to a selection of less highly-priced targets.