West Ham United fans were understandably disappointed to learn Gabriel Barbosa would not be joining the club this month.
Barbosa has been heavily linked with West Ham for the last two months.
The Brazilian striker was on the fringes at Inter Milan and very much available in the January window.
Indeed the player himself, a friend of West Ham hero Felipe Anderson, had talked up a possible move – read more here.
Hammers ‘snubbed’ … not quite
But it emerged on Wednesday the Hammers had missed out on the exciting forward who has signed for Flamengo in his homeland instead.
In the wake of Barbosa’s move to Flamengo, Sky Sports carried a report claiming the player had ‘snubbed’ West Ham.
Under the headline ‘Gabigol snubs West Ham for Flamengo’ the report claims the 22-year-old wanted to return to Brazil, where he spent last season on loan at Santos, scoring 22 goals in the process.
Hmmm… not quite pic.twitter.com/GVk5O9XIdR
— Damien Lucas (@damienlucas) January 9, 2019
But the Sky Sports report was well wide of the mark.
That’s because the truth is the deal was a complete non-starter due to work permit issues.
Barbosa was a non-starter for West Ham
Players require the necessary work permit to play in the Premier League.
And quite simply Barbosa did not meet the required criteria.
An open and shut case but nonetheless one which West Ham may revisit in the future if Barbosa can force his way into the Brazil squad and satisfy the international clearance credentials.
West Ham have been linked with over 30 players already this month – see the full list here.
Pellegrini at crossroads over strikers
It seems the latest striker target is Liverpool’s Divock Origi.
Manuel Pellegrini is at something of a crossroads over strikers.
Andy Carroll’s contract is up in the summer and he does not fit the Chilean’s desired style of play.
Then there is Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez.
Both have been linked with January moves away after failing to establish themselves at the club.