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Respected Italian journalist claims West Ham are so serious about Gabriel Barbosa they have explored work permit viability
Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Respected Italian journalist claims West Ham are so serious about Gabriel Barbosa they have explored work permit viability

Photo by Alexandre Loureiro Getty Images

Just when it looked like West Ham United’s interest in Inter Milan striker was dead in the water it appears a potential move could be back on.

Inter appeared to move the goalposts over West Ham’s interest in the Brazilian striker last week.

A report from Brazilian outlet UOL Esporte claimed Inter would prefer instead to do business with Flamengo in a bid to snare two promising young players in exchange.

West Ham recently initiated interest in Barbosa who is a friend and former teammate of Hammers hero Felipe Anderson.

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.

Photo by GLYN KIRK AFP Getty Images

New hope for Hammers

There is new hope for West Ham this week, though.

That’s because respected Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims 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.

In an update on his own website, Di Marzio said: “Inter are evaluating Gabigol’s future as offers arrive for the Brazilian player.

Photo by Chris Brunskill Getty Images

Club exploring work permit paperwork viability

“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.

“Even if he receives a work permit, it will also depend on the Gabigol’s will to play in England. On the other hand, the Brazil solution has better odds at the moment. Between ideas and options, there is still a lot to be settled.”

Far from open and shut but a boost for West Ham fans who had looked forward to the prospect of seeing Barbosa in the claret and blue.

Di Marzio’s revelation about the work permit suggests West Ham have reached a stage in negotiations where that is a necessary box to be ticked.

The report also claims a lot would depend on whether Barbosa would prefer the Premier League or Brazil to play next.

If so that bodes well for the Hammers.

Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI AFP Getty Images

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The pair played together at Santos and for Brazil (pictured above numbers 17 and 9 front row).

Manuel Pellegrini desperately needs to improve his striker options.

Andy Carroll is out of contract in the summer and does not fit the Chilean’s style of play.

Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez have both been linked with moves away after failing to establish themselves.

And there is an over reliance on winger turned striker Marko Arnautovic, as evidenced following his two goal salvo which secured a draw against Brighton last time out.