Inter Milan flop Gabriel Barbosa's proposed 18-month loan deal back to former club Santos could well be facing the axe, after current temporary side Benfica refused to agree to continue to pay a portion of the player's wages as part of the agreement to terminate their contract with the Serie A side.
The 21-year-old, who made a €29.5m (£26m) switch to Nerazzurri after graduating from Peixe's youth academy, has struggled to make an impact since leaving South America.
Sky Italy: Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario turns down loan move to West Ham. Inter happy to let him go on loan. Paid Sporting £40m for him in 2016— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) January 17, 2018
Reports suggested that Benfica were keen to cut their losses on the short-term deal they had in place with Inter following their disappointment in the Brazilian, and things looked set for the striker to return back to his home nation.
It was thought that the Italian outfit had agreed terms with former club Santos regarding an 18-month loan deal, with a fee of around €1.5m (£1.3m) expected to change hands for their troubles.
If Inter Milan want Daniel Sturridge, a straight swap for Mauro Icardi would be lovely.— Mike (@MikeMongie) January 21, 2018
It had also been claimed that in order for the Primeira Liga side to relinquish any ties to the player contractually they would have to continue to contribute to Gabigol's wages, with Santos unable to meet the player's demands by themselves.
However, according to Portuguese news outlet Record, that has proved a major stumbling block for the Stadium of Light hierarchy, who have rejected any possibility of themselves maintaining payments for the Inter man if he is no longer at the club.
The report claims that if no agreement is met, the 2016 Olympic gold medal-winner will have to return to Benfica and see out the remainder of his current year-long loan deal.