There seems to be a fairly unknown hot property in Brazilian football every summer, and after impressing for his country in the Olympic football tournament over the last few weeks, Gabriel Barbosa, or Gabigol has become this year’s man. The attacker who has also been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea in recent times reportedly has a release clause of £41m but could be available for lower than his release clause.
The Santos forward has been linked with a deal to United during this transfer window, but the reports were incredibly speculative. The Mirror, however, having translated a piece from Samba Foot think there’s life in the rumour yet:
“Manchester United could land Brazilian sensation Gabriel Barbosa in a bargain deal, according to Samba Foot.
Gabigol, who has been impressing for Brazil at the Olympics, could leave Santos with the club willing to cash in on their star striker.
The club are reportedly nearing administration and are considering selling their top players.
United have shown a willingness to sign the 19-year-old and could beat the likes of Leicester, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan to his signature.”
The fact that Santos may need to sell in order to stay afloat certainly makes a sale far more likely than it appeared last week, and who knows? Perhaps United are in for the talented youngster.
Regardless, it probably isn’t the worst idea for Jose Mourinho to be planning for the future when it comes to his forward line.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has started his first season in the Premier League in excellent form, nabbing four goals in three games. The Swede has essentially carried his wonderful form for Paris Saint Germain last term (where he nabbed 50 goals in 51 games) into Old Trafford.
Yet it has to be noted that Ibrahimovic is coming towards the end of his career, regardless of how well he’s settled in to life at United. His 35th birthday arrives in October, and he is currently only contracted to the club for a single season, so it might help Mourinho if he thinks about the bigger picture.
Hypothetically, should Ibrahimovic leave next summer, then Marcus Rashford would be United’s best remaining striker, which is remarkable pressure to place on the shoulders of an 18-year old. Bringing in someone like Gabigol, who can learn from Ibrahimovic and get acquainted with United as a club could be of huge benefit to Mourinho, and means less of a focus on Rashford once Ibrahimovic leaves Old Trafford.
Whether United are genuinely in for Gabigol remains to be seen, but preparing for the future when we don’t know just how long Ibrahimovic will be at the club seems wise.