Felipe Anderson is making the difference for West Ham United on the pitch and now he might be in the transfer market too.
West Ham have been linked with an £18 million move for exciting Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa (Daily Mail).
Barbosa, nicknamed Gabigol, is owned by Inter Milan but has spent the last year on loan at Santos.
That’s where he started his career alongside Hammers hero and countryman Felipe Anderson.
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini needs to bolster his options in January as he nurses a Premier League-worst injury list which now includes talisman Marko Arnautovic.
West Ham encouraged on several fronts
West Ham were boosted recently when it emerged Inter would be forced to sell a string of fringe players to raise £45 million and avoid UEFA Financial Fair Play sanctions.
Barbosa himself has suggested he is ready to talk to interested clubs over a January move to the Premier League (Football Italia).
And the 22-year-old dropped a big hint he could be influenced by his former Santos teammate who he remains close to.
‘Sometimes we talk and all of them love playing in the Premier League’
“The Premier League always had great strikers and it is a joy to watch on TV,” Barbosa said, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“It is very competitive, fast-paced and dynamic, with loads of title contenders. There is quality everywhere, that’s why everybody loves it and I am no different. It attracts me a lot.
“I follow the Brazilians, sometimes we talk and all of them love playing in the Premier League.”
So does Anderson hold the key in making any deal work in West Ham’s favour?
Anderson the key but will owners sanction move?
Other clubs are keen on the striker, who scored 22 goals in 38 games for Santos last season.
West Ham have several ace cards up their sleeve if they do move for Barbosa.
The prospect of a reunion with his old teammate Anderson (pictured together in the Brazil squad above).
Living in London.
Playing in front of as many as 66,000 fans in the near future. Only one club in the Premier League can top that – Manchester United.
Whether David Sullivan and David Gold sanction a big money move after spending £100 million during the summer remains to be seen.