Crystal Palace, Fulham interested in Gabriel Barbosa

Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Fulham are reportedly interested in signing Flamengo goal-machine Gabriel Barbosa in the upcoming January transfer window.

According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa remains the subject of interest from several European clubs and could have “the opportunity to return to European football” in January, with Crystal Palace and Fulham keen to bring him to the Premier League.

Gabriel Barbosa, dubbed “Gabigol” in his native Brazil after bursting onto the scene as a teenage sensation, joined Inter in 2016 from Santos. He failed to settle in Italy, however, playing just a handful of games in his debut season and subsequently disappointing in a temporary switch to Benfica.

A January move back to his home country with Santos saw him rejuvenated and scoring goals for fun in 2018. After another fine goalscoring season in Brazilian Serie A during another loan spell, this time with Flamengo, he sealed a permanent move to the Maracana in January 2020.

Gabigol has been of interest to a number of English sides over the past several transfer windows, with faint rumours that he is keen on a Premier League move. Indeed, the 27-year-old Brazilian’s goal contribution tally at Flamengo — 139 goals and 38 assists in 240 games — proves he can be a top asset should he thrive at any club.

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Ahead of the January transfer window, Crystal Palace and Fulham are among the clubs linked with him. The report adds that the striker’s tenure at Flamengo could be coming to an end in the upcoming transfer window, particularly after their exit from the Copa Libertadores, which raises the chances of him accepting an attractive offer from Europe.

Following the exit of star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Al-Hilal for a reported £43 million, Fulham have been left without a marquee goal-scorer. £5 million summer recruit from Wolves, Raul Jimenez, has actually done okay; he’s good on the ball, gets in all the right areas, and puts in the graft.

But the Mexican international still hasn’t scored a goal in the Premier League for 18 months despite starting a lot of games in that time and lacks any conviction in front of goal, while Carlos Vinicius has fallen out of favour under Marco Silva. Gabigol could prove to be an astute signing for the Cottagers. His record in Brazil speaks for itself, while Silva has a reputation for bringing out the best from cast-offs.

As for Crystal Palace, Odsonne Edouard has made a red-hot goal-scoring start to the new campaign and may finally be about to fulfil his promise in the Premier League. But the Frenchman only scored 11 league goals in his first two seasons at Palace.

Even if Roy Hodgson persists to keep Edouard as his main man up top for the foreseeable future, the Eagles could do with someone of Barbosa’s pedigree and all-round style of play, which would bring the best out of their wide men.

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