A few Newcastle United fans have been reacting online to reports by the Chronicle that the club are tracking Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa.
The 23-year-old moved to the Brazilian Serie A side on loan from Inter Milan in January, and is due to return to the San Siro at the end of December after a successful year back in his native country.
So impressive have his efforts been with Flamengo, that sources from the region have indicated to the Chronicle that we are one of a few Premier League sides to have scouted Barbosa.
The Nerazzurri loanee had been branded a flop in the Italian press after his €29.5million (£25.2m) move from Santos in 2016, having scored just once in ten senior appearances for the San Siro outfit and only making one start across all competitions.
Barbosa has been a free-scoring weapon in front of the net for Flamengo in 2019, though, with the 5-cap Brazil international hitting 22 goals in 26 Brazilian Serie A appearances and nine in 12 Copa Libertadores ties.
He notched his 30th and 31st goals for the season across all competitions on Saturday as Flamengo came from behind to beat River Plate late on in the Copa Libertadores Final, before being sent off in stoppage-time.
United’s stance on a move for Barbosa is only thought to be on a scouting basis at present while Crystal Palace have also been credited with interest recently, with FC Inter News claiming the Eagles are set to lodge a £20m bid in January and offer the star striker a four-year, £4m-per-season contract (£76.9k-per-week).
The Italian site also add that La Liga side Real Valladolid would like to pursue Barbosa’s services, while Flamengo hold a €22m (£18.8m) option to turn his temporary stint into a permanent transfer until December 19.
But Barbosa is intrigued by the possibility of returning to Europe, even though Flamengo are prepared to offer him a €5m-per-year contract (£82,262-per-week) contract to stay at the Maracana Stadium.
Would Gabriel Barbosa be a good signing?
Yes, he looks to be a lethal goalscorer
No, he is not proven in Europe
Leicester City were linked with a £23.2m bid for Barbosa in 2016, while the then-19-year-old was also being touted as a target for Juventus after making his senior Brazil international debut that May.
Here are some of the reactions offered to the Chronicle’s report of our interest…
More football manager scouting I see
— Will Thurkettle (@thurkettlewill) November 25, 2019
He’s not good enough for Serie A so he’s deffo not good enough for the Prem
— Its Bryson (@Eric_Bryson_89) November 25, 2019
There’s no way Bruce could handle his attitude
— FI Austria Mags (@AustriaMags) November 25, 2019
Not another one?!
— ian pollock (@ipolnufc) November 25, 2019
Should make him captain if we sign him.
— Woody (@Woodysimon1987) November 25, 2019
would be typical Newcastle to have signed the wrong Brazilian
— Wayne heathwaite (@Wayneheathwaite) November 25, 2019