Problems obtaining a work permit scuppered West Ham United’s chances of landing highly-rated forward Gabriel Barbosa, according to the reputable @exWHUemployee.
The Brazil international has fallen out of favour at parent club Internazionale and was offered to a host of European clubs, with the Hammers believed to be seriously considering a move for the attacker.
I always said when he was first linked it’s very doubtful we would get a permit despite some interest! Not sure if a bid was actually made but this was always the case https://t.co/UAfWkiXe5e
— ExWHUemployee (@ExWHUemployee) January 8, 2019
Despite the Londoners’ interest, completing a deal for the 22-year-old always seemed to be highly unlikely and it is unclear whether West Ham did actually lodge a bid for the striker.
Barbosa – also known as Gabigol – burst onto the scene as a fresh-faced 16-year-old with boyhood club Santos back in 2013 and went on to score 56 goals in 154 appearances for the Brazilian outfit, attracting the interest of a host of major European sides in the process.
After helping Brazil to a gold medal in the 2016 summer Olympics, Inter parted with £32 million to bring Barbosa to the San Siro, however, the forward had far from the desired impact.
Having found the back of the net just once during his nine appearances for the Nerazzurri, Gabigol spent the first few months of the 2017-18 campaign on loan in Portugal with Benfica, for whom he also netted the solitary goal.
The Brazilian returned to his homeland last January having secured a loan move back to Santos but continued to be linked with moves to Europe, including to West Ham.
However, it was confirmed earlier this week that Barbosa had instead opted to remain in Brazil, putting pen to paper on a one-year loan deal with Flamengo.
The Hammers could well still find themselves short of firepower, with talisman Marko Arnautovic the subject of a £35 million bid from an unnamed Chinese outfit, though the London side are extremely reluctant to let go of their top scorer.