West Ham United have been heavily linked with a move for Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa.

A move for the Inter Milan-owned forward is being pushed by co-owner David Sullivan.

Manuel Pellegrini was reportedly offered the chance to sign Barbosa by Sullivan on a number of occasions but was not keen.

Barbosa scored an incredible 43 goals in 59 games on loan at Flamengo last season.

The Brazilian season ended in December and Barbosa has returned to Inter who have publicly admitted he will be sold this month.

Read: ‘On his way in January’ Inter Milan director Beppe Marotta gives West Ham hope of landing striker target Gabriel Barbosa

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West Ham’s on-off pursuit of 130-goal Barbosa

West Ham and Flamengo have both been linked with a permanent £18million move.

The likes of Claret & Hugh – which claims to have a top level source at West Ham, believed to be Sullivan himself – says the interest in Barbosa is very real.

That seems very good value for a 23-year-old who has already scored more than 130 goals in his career across 284 games.

Those fearsome statistics earned Barbosa the nickname Gabigol.

 

But Flamengo looked to be in the driving seat after Pellegrini told Sullivan he was not keen.

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Italian journalist who broke Haller makes new Hammers claim

Now, though, Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claims West Ham are back in the race.

Schira, who famously broke the news of Sebastien Haller’s £45million move to West Ham in the summer, issued an update on Twitter after the opening of the transfer window on New Year’s Day.

“West Ham are in (the) race with Flamengo to buy Gabigol from Inter,” Schira said on Twitter.

“(Inter) ask €22m (£18.5m) at least to sell the Brazilian striker.”

Moyes got his second spell at West Ham off to a promising start with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

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Partner for Haller and Brazilian reunion for Anderson

But the squad still needs strengthening in key areas, particularly in midfield and up front.

West Ham may well explore a loan deal for Barbosa will an obligation to buy in the summer.

That would give Haller a true partner to work with up front. It would also see Barbosa reunited with his former Santos teammate Felipe Anderson.

West Ham may suddenly start to look a real force again.

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