‘I feel frustrated’ - Newcastle United-linked striker eyes fresh European challenge

Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo kisses the ball before a penalty kick during a match between Flamengo and Santos as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo kisses the ball before a penalty kick during a match between Flamengo and Santos as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo kisses the ball before a penalty kick during a match between Flamengo and Santos as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on December 6, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | Getty Images

Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa is understood to be keen on a move to Newcastle United as the Magpies look to add as least one striker to their ranks this month.

The 17-times capped Brazil striker is eyeing a return to Europe after an unsuccessful spell with Serie A giants Inter Milan and a disappointing loan stint with Portuguese club Benfica earlier in his career.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Barbosa has undergone something of a rejuvenation during a loan spell with Flamengo as his goals fired the Rio de Janeiro-based club to the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A title and the Copa Libertadores - the South American equivalent of the Champions League.

A permanent move to Flamengo was completed in January 2020 and the striker - dubbed Gabigol - went on the score 29 goals in 43 games in all competitions to further enhance his reputation.

‘My bad experiences made me stronger’

Reflecting on his underwhelming spell in Europe following his return to Brazil, Barbosa said: “Until today I didn’t really understand why I had so few opportunities. There were so many questions in my head.

“But I discovered over time that I needed a lot more than talent to play at the club.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“My bad experiences with Inter Milan and Benfica have made me stronger. It is in these moments that we grow up.

“I played my role, I dedicated myself to the maximum in training, my Italian course, my adaptation, nutrition.

“Today, a few years later, I know I could have done some different things. My experience in Europe was a very quick story, I still feel frustrated.”

The Flamengo striker has been offered around a number of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle, this window.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is believed Barbosa is available on a loan deal with the possibility of a permanent summer switch to Tyneside being placed into the agreement.

Premier League interest in former Inter striker

Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo controls the ball during a match between Flamengo and Atletico Goianiense as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on November 05, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo controls the ball during a match between Flamengo and Atletico Goianiense as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on November 05, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gabriel Barbosa of Flamengo controls the ball during a match between Flamengo and Atletico Goianiense as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Maracana Stadium on November 05, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | Getty Images

Head of Recruitment Steve Nickson has been a regular visitor to Brazil during his time in his role at St James’ Park and the South American market is one that United have been keen, in the past, to explore.

The Magpies are not the only Premier League club to be linked with a move for Barbosa with Arsenal, Everton and West Ham United also credited with an interest in the 25-year-old striker.

Injury rethink at United

The injury suffered by Callum Wilson in the recent 1-1 draw with Manchester United had thrust the signing of a striker up the agenda for the United hierarchy during what is set to be a hectic transfer window.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.