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'He will be sold' Inter Milan chief talks up West Ham January striker target Gabriel Barbosa for move
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'He will be sold' Inter Milan chief talks up West Ham January striker target Gabriel Barbosa for move

West Ham United will reportedly launch another bid to sign Gabriel Barbosa in January.

West Ham have a long-standing interest in the Brazilian striker and former teammate of Felipe Anderson.

The 23-year-old is owned by Serie A giants Inter Milan.

But he has spent the year on loan with Flamengo in his native Brazil.

There Barbosa, nicknamed Gabigol, has scored a superb 41 goals in 54 games this year.

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West Ham long-linked with Gabigol

That loan agreement is up this month and he is to return to Italy before being sold by Inter.

Barbosa’s agent revealed back in January that West Ham tried to rush through a deal for his client, but he ended up moving back to Brazil on loan for a year instead (FC Inter 1908).

Last month Football Italia claimed West Ham are still interested in Barbosa.

Manuel Pellegrini is fighting for his future after a desperately poor first half of the season.

West Ham’s plummet towards the relegation zone is a culmination of a number of factors.

A lack of investment in the summer, poor decision-making when it came to selling players and Pellegrini’s tactics and team selection have all contributed.

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Striker light

But under-performing players have not helped either.

Record £45million striker signing Sebastien Haller is struggling badly.

And flop back-up forward Albian Ajeti has failed to impress with talk he will be offloaded in January (Claret and Hugh).

West Ham have won just once in 10 games and must bring in at least one forward in January.

Beppe Marotta, the director of Barbosa’s parent club Inter Milan, has once again talked up Barbosa and insisted he will be sold next month.

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‘Gabigol has great value’

“He’s a great player, but right now we have a large and high-quality pool of forwards, consisting of Lukaku, Martinez, Sanchez, Esposito and Politano,” the CEO told ESPN as also reported by the likes of Football Italia.

“Gabigol isn’t part of our plans, but he has great value.”

Previous reports from Football Italia claimed West Ham will face competition from London rivals Crystal Palace.

But if the Hammers are serious about landing Barbosa, the lure of playing for a bigger club, with a huge support and reuniting with Anderson could swing things in their favour.

Flamengo are still in the picture but may struggle to match the riches of Premier League clubs.