Following a hugely successful loan spell at Flamengo, the Brazilian club have officially completed the permanent signing of Gabriel Barbosa from Inter Milan. The striker has put pen to paper on a deal that will run until 2024.
Barbosa, popularly known as Gabigol, was outstanding for Flamengo last season, finding the back of the net 43 times in 59 appearances in all competitions. He also managed to provide 11 assists. The 23-year-old left the Brazilian side in January and returned to parent club Inter after his loan had expired.
Gabigol left Santos in 2016 to join Inter in a €30m deal, but since his move he has managed just ten appearances, finding the net once, and he has spent the majority of his time out on loan. Barbosa moved on loan to Flamengo in January 2019, his third of such spells away from Inter Milan since joining in 2016.
However, Flamengo have now taken to their Twitter to officially confirm the permanent signing of Gabigol.
Flamengo were ‘working tirelessly’ to strike a deal for Barbosa, with Inter said to be demanding around €25m for his services. The player had attracted interest from a number of Premier League sides, including Crystal Palace, Newcastle United and West Ham United. And although they all spoke with his representatives, they were told that the forward only wanted to join a ‘big name’.
In the final f the 2019 Copa Libertadores, Gabigol struck twice in the final stages of the game to earn Flamengo victory over River Plate. The former Santos player was the top goalscorer in both the Libertadores and Brazil’s first division last year and a key player in Flamengo’s most successful season.
Reacting to his permament move to the Brazilain side, the 23-year-old Barbosa wrote on Instagram: “If it’s for the good of the (Flamengo) nation, I’ll stay”.