West Ham United look to have dodged a bullet by missing out on longstanding striker target Gabriel Barbosa.
West Ham have been chasing the Brazilian forward for the last 18 months.
The Hammers wanted the then Inter Milan outcast on loan with an option to buy in January (The Sun).
But Gabigol – as he is known – elected for a permanent move to Flamengo instead.
When speaking to Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola recently, Junior Pedroso – the agent of Barbosa – confirmed his client was a target for both West Ham and Chelsea in January.
West Ham chased Barbosa hard but he opted for Brazil return
According to his agent, Barbosa felt Flamengo was the best step for his career.
West Ham fans were not happy their attempts to land the exciting striker backfired. Although there was some consolation when Jarrod Bowen arrived on transfer deadline day.
With the benefit of hindsight West Ham looked to have dodged a bullet, though.
That’s after transfer guru Nicolo Schira – the man who first broke news of Sebastien Haller’s £45m move to West Ham – revealed Barbosa’s behaviour while on lockdown in Brazil was causing chaos.
“Chaos (with) Gabigol in Brazil,” Schira posted on Twitter.
Transfer guru who broke Haller to West Ham claims Gabigol is being a covidiot
“(There have been) 38 positives (for) Covid-19 at Flamengo, but (Barbosa) spends the evenings between barbecues and parties despite the quarantine.
“The neighbors’ complaint: “He’s having a good time, organizing parties and barbecues with dozens of friends. Loud music until 6 in the morning.”
Caos #Gabigol in Brasile: 38 positivi al #Covid_19 al #Flamengo, ma la punta passa le serate tra grigliate e festini nonostante la quarantena. La denuncia dei vicini: “Se la spassa, organizzando feste e grigliate con decine di amici. Musica a tutto volume fino alle 6 del mattino”
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) May 13, 2020
If David Moyes didn’t believe things happen for a reason before, he might do now.
The striker has been branded an idiot for his actions by some on social media.
And it is not the first time that word has been used when describing the former West Ham target.
talkSPORT’s South American football expert Tim Vickery claimed earlier this year that Barbosa felt West Ham are “too small” for him.
Not the first time Barbosa’s intelligence has been questioned
And Vickery, who pointed out that Barbosa had flopped badly in Europe with Benfica and Inter, branded him an ‘idiot’ who could have done a lot worse than sign for the Hammers.
“Now there was rumour of an interest from West Ham – which I couldn’t really see myself, I just couldn’t see him getting on with the coach – but what was coming out in Brazil was he thought the club were too small for him,” Vickery told talkSPORT.
“And if he’s thinking that, he’s an idiot because he’s very unlikely to get a big European club now – you know one of the giants. But a club of the stature of West Ham, who have a magnificent history in their own right, you do well there and then you’ve proved yourself in Europe and one of the bigger European clubs might well be interested in you.
“If he stays in Brazil his problem is he might never get back to Europe. If you want to be considered a genuine world class player you’ve got to do it in top level European football.”