Flamengo forward Gabriel Barbosa rejected the chance to join West Ham in the January transfer window, according to his agent.
Barbosa, also known as ‘Gabigol’, had a stellar 2019 back in his home country, scoring 43 goals in 59 appearances as Flamengo won both the Brazilian league title and the Copa Libertadores.
His agent, Junior Pedroso, has claimed that West Ham made an ‘official proposal’ to sign the striker in January while he was still on Inter’s books.
And the 23-year-old’s agent has opened up on the race for his client’s signature, claiming that Chelsea also registered an interest.
“We had the possibility of several clubs who wanted to understand his situation,” Pedrosa said, as quoted by Jorge Nicola (via Sport Witness). “And each club…it was a complicated window in January in Europe, so it wasn’t an interesting window for us to negotiate.”
“Gabriel is in great form, obviously he drew the attention of many big clubs. And obviously he was also stuck in a vacancy, or budget issue, or position that the guy was going to leave and couldn’t get another contract.
“But who really advanced were two teams in Germany and a team in England that made a proposal was West Ham.
“For the project that was presented in January, Flamengo were the best project for him to take off his career, maybe thinking about Europe in a second moment.”
Despite the interest in Barbosa being widespread, Pedrosa confirmed that the Hammers were the only team to make an official bid.
“[The only] official proposal came from West Ham,” he added. “The others were conversations. Because the club only puts it on paper when they’re sure they’ll buy.”
“West Ham were sure they were going to buy because the proposal was very interesting. [It was] bigger for Gabriel [than Flamengo’s offer]. For Inter it was also bigger. He didn’t think about it. He preferred to go to Flamengo.”