Everton are reportedly weighing up a swoop for Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa as Rafael Benitez wants to add another centre-forward to his roster.
The Toffees have already signed Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic and Demarai Gray to add more value and depth to their squad but are yet to make any big-money blockbuster signing.
Though Moise Kean is awarded a new lease of life under the new regime, it is highly unlikely Rafa would rely on him as a back-up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been indispensable the past couple of seasons. Kean would be disposed to any potential suitor to recoup the invested amount or, at best, would be shifted to wing with Bernard leaving.
Kean spent the whole of 2020-21 season out on loan at French giants PSG, where he performed admirably in the centre-forward role and scored 13 goals in 26 appearances.
The Parisians are now interested in bringing the 21-year-old on a permanent basis, but any potential deal would cost them the upside of €40 million, which would make it a bit unviable. However, if PSG can successfully get rid of Mauro Icardi, who has attracted interest from AS Roma, then a vacancy might open up for Kean.
Irrespective of that, Everton manager Benitez is looking at Barbosa as a perfect forward for providing healthy competition to their current no. 9 and can also use Barbosa in a duo upfront in a 4-4-2 setup, owing to Brazilian’s versatile nature. The 24-year-old has already spent an unsuccessful stint in Europe with Inter Milan and SL Benfica but never really got a chance and was limited only to 347 mins of action during both tenures.
Then he decided to move back to his roots in Brazil to resurrect his failing career, and the move worked wonders for him. After a successful loan spell, Flamengo paid £20 million in transfer fees to bring back ‘Gabigol’ from Inter in Jan 2019. The Brazilian netted 68 goals and further assisted 18 assists for the Mengao and now wants a move back to mainland Europe to prove his worth.
Valued at €26 million by Transfermarkt, the front pairing of Barbosa and Calvert-Lewin would be a lethal duo and can easily strike fear among most Premier League defences. It remains to be seen if Everton’s interest in Gabigol materialises into anything substantial in the coming weeks.