Saturday December 1 2018
Gabigol: 'Premier League attractive'

Inter hope to sell Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa to Everton, West Ham or Crystal Palace in January after he confessed the Premier League “attracts me a lot.”

The 22-year-old’s loan at Santos is coming to an end this month and he seems to be headed for England with interest from Everton, West Ham United and Crystal Palace.

“They are all important clubs with top quality players,” Gabriel Barbosa told Sportsmail. 

“Hopefully everything will be good for everyone if we reach an agreement. There are many things involved, mainly Inter, as they hold my rights. It hasn’t been decided yet, but it is very unlikely I will remain in Brazil.

“The Premier League always had great strikers and it is a joy to watch on TV. It is very competitive, fast-paced and dynamic, with loads of title contenders. There is quality everywhere, that’s why everybody loves it and I am no different. It attracts me a lot.

“I follow the Brazilians, sometimes we talk and all of them love playing in the Premier League.”

Inter paid €29.5m to sign him from Santos in the summer of 2016, where he was considered the ‘new Neymar.’

However, he didn’t start a single Serie A game and scored only one goal before being shipped out on loan to Benfica.

Then-Inter Coach Frank de Boer criticised Gabigol’s work rate both in training and during matches.

“What is funny is that he never said it face to face, never mentioned it. He was my manager and could have done it. In spite of all of that, I take this as him trying to help me to change what I should do. That doesn’t concern me and I respect his opinion.”

That experience in Portugal flopped too and the deal was abandoned after just six months, but Gabigol has rediscovered his confidence and scoring touch back on loan at his old club Santos.

He scored 18 goals in 35 Brasileiro Serie A games.

“It has been a very good year for me,’ said Barbosa. ‘Individually it has been spectacular. I have matured a lot and playing more games gives you more confidence. I’ve played a lot of games and learned a lot.

“I wish for 2019 to be another happy year for me, as good as the one at Santos so far. What I can assure you is that my dedication will be at the maximum level.

“I want to play as well as possible to be called up again for the national team. In order to achieve that I need to score many goals, as every striker tries to do.”

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