Manuel Pellegrini wants to bring Gabriel Barbosa to West Ham United this month and Chelsea might help him do just that.
The rumoured move for Barbosa has been very much off and on.
It looked like Pellegrini’s interest in the Inter Milan fringe player was dead in the water. But then there was talk it could be rekindled.
Inter moved the goalposts over West Ham’s interest in the Brazilian last week.
West Ham recently initiated interest in Barbosa who is a friend and former teammate of Hammers hero Felipe Anderson.
Barbosa on-off move timeline so far
Nicknamed Gabigol owing to his penchant for scoring, Barbosa has failed to establish himself at the San Siro.
But he shone when he returned to Santos on loan scoring 22 goals in 38 games.
There was new hope for West Ham this week when respected Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed the Hammers remain serious about a deal.
So serious in fact they are already exploring how likely Barbosa would be to secure the necessary work permit.
Inter throw Barella spanner in the works
“The West Ham option remains open, as it will depend on the necessary work permit to play in the Premier League,” Di Marzio said on his website.
Inter once again threw a spanner in the works though when it emerged they are trying to push Barbosa towards Cagliari in an effort to lure their young Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella to the San Siro (Tuttosport).
Chelsea could rescue West Ham move
But West Ham’s London rivals Chelsea could be set to rescue West Ham’s move for Barbosa by signing Barella themselves.
Mauricio Sarri has launched a £45 million move for his fellow countryman Barella, who has been likened to the legendary Andrea Pirlo (Sky Sports).
That would leave Inter needing to offload Barbosa elsewhere and West Ham in the box seat.
The Hammers themselves must tread carefully over FFP. So a loan with an option or even obligation to buy seems most likely.