Gabriel Barbosa’s agent Wagner Ribeiro has today rubbished claims that the striker is set to joining Manchester United and has insisted that his client will remain with Santos.
Barbosa has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford over recent weeks, with reports suggesting that a bid in excess of £30m had already been lodged for the player. The Brazilian has also been linked with a move to Chelsea.
However speaking to Globo Esporte, Ribeiro has strongly denied the claims and has labelled any talk of Barbosa moving to Old Trafford as mere speculation.
It had been thought that Jose Mourinho was looking to add a fresh face to his front line before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month. However it appears his chase to sign Barbosa may be over, at least for the time being.
The 19-year-old is currently on International duty representing his home national Brazil at the Rio Olympic games and has scored two goals thus far. Since making his debut for Santos as 16-year-old back in 2013, Barbosa has become the clubs main front man over taking big money signing Leandro Damiao.
Barbosa has earnt himself a reputation in Brazil of been the man to rely on when the bigger games come calling. In 2014 the youngster netted the club’s 12,000th goal in a 5-1 victory against Botafogo-SP and has since gone on to net 21 goals in each of the last two seasons for Santos (2014,2015) and has 12 goals to his name thus far in this campaign (2016).
News of Barbosa staying at Santos will come as a huge blow to Manchester United, who were looking at adding the Brazilian to their attack.
With Barbosa looks likely to be staying at Santos, it leaves new united boss Jose Mourinho with a dilemma. His keen interest in Barbosa told us that he is clearly not satisfied with his options up front and wanted another forward.
In Barbosa united would have been getting a talented, young, and exiting forward, who at just 19 years of age already had a vast amount of experience under him, something of which is rare for a teenager to have.
Mourinho will no doubt now have to look elsewhere as he bids to find another striker who can fit that billing. The club already have the likes of Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lead the line, whilst Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay are also capable of filling in should be required.
It remains to be seen whether united will bring in a new face up front before the window closes, but that man almost certainly will not be Gabriel Barbosa, that chase is over at least for now.