When speaking to Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola, Junior Pedroso – the agent of Gabriel Barbosa, explained how his client was a target for both West Ham and Chelsea in January, and opened up on why he ended up joining Flamengo instead.
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The Sun claimed back in January that Hammers manager David Moyes wanted to sign the Brazilian hitman for around £20 million.
It was also claimed by the Sun that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was keen to bring the 23-year-old to Stamford Bridge.
Prolific striker chose Brazil instead of England
Gabigol eventually joined Flamengo in a deal believed to be worth just €20 million (£17.5 million) – an absolute bargain. (ESPN).
And Barbosa’s agent Junior Pedroso has opened up on why his client chose to join the Brazilian giants, rather than move to either the Hammers or the Blues, when speaking exclusively to Jorge Nicola:
“We had the possibility of several clubs who wanted to understand his situation. And each club… it was a complicated window in January in Europe. Gabriel is in great form, obviously he drew the attention of many big clubs. But who really advanced were two teams in Germany and a team in England that made a proposal, which was West Ham. We had flirted with Chelsea and some other clubs. But for the project that was presented in January, Flamengo were the best project for him to take off in his career.”
Both West Ham and Chelsea would have been disappointed to miss out on the prolific front-man.
Barbosa scored 43 goals in 56 games whilst on loan with Flamengo from Inter Milan last season (The Sun).
The 23-year-old’s playing style is similar to that of Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus. And he could have been a huge success in the Premier League.
For just £17.5 million, Gabigol would have been a massive bargain for both London clubs.
And West Ham and Chelsea will be left wondering if they could have done more to win the race for his signature five months ago.