Leicester City have been busy this summer, preparing their Premier League title defence. Now, the Foxes have joined an elite group of teams trying to lure Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa to Europe.
Leicester are prepared to make a bid of £25 million for the 19-year-old forward, who is currently representing Brazil at the Olympic Games in Rio, and are scheduled to meet the Santos player’s representatives next week, according to a report by The Sun.
Serie A champions Juventus seemed very close to signing the player known by the name of Gabigol, striking a personal deal with the player and offering a £17 million fee. However, Gabigol is owned by three parties, with Santos owning 40 per cent, the player 40 per cent and Doyen Sports 20 per cent, and the offer was deemed to low.
Inter stepped in and reportedly made a £21.2 million offer, pippen their Italian rivals, with Barcelona having the right to match any offer. Now, Leicester are ready to trump everyone by offering £25 million, as the player has been delaying his decision until after the Olympics in order to receive more offers.
Chelsea have also been linked with a move for the “new Luis Suarez”, who’s a peer of Manchester City’s new signing Gabriel Jesus, who’s dubbed as the “new Neymar”.
Who is Gabigol?
Gabriel Barbosa joined Brazilian giants Santos at the tender age of eight. Now, eleven years later, the young forward is the biggest star of the club that saw the likes of Pele, Neymar and Robinho become legends. He scored more than 600 goals for the club’s youth teams, making his nickname easy to pick – Gabigol. The lefty made his debut for Santos’ senior team at the age of 16, during Neymar’s last game before leaving for Barcelona.
Some say Gabigol is the next Neymar. He’s got the speed to match the one of Brazil’s biggest star, just like he’s got a knack for scoring goals in combination with the vision to set up his team-mates. Barbosa is able to play on both wings, as a secondary striker or as a team’s target striker. Still, there’s more Luis Suarez than Neymar to the 19-year-old’s game. He’s small but build like a rock, shields the ball extremely well, has great timing in the box and really doesn’t play with that much flair. Suarezesque. And Gabigol has scored more first division league goals than any Under-20 player in the world.
In addition, he’s already a true pro, training with his personal coach on vacation. The plan is to rock the football world at the Olympics before making the big leap forward to Europe. It won’t be easy for a 19-year-old but Gabigol has shown he’s ready to take on any challenge.