West Ham have enquired about the availability of Brazil international striker Gabriel Barbosa after Serie A giants Inter confirmed the 22-year-old would be surplus to requirements when he returns to the club.
Nicknamed Gabigol, the versatile forward is currently out on loan with former side Santos, having failed to make an impact at Inter or S.L. Benfica, where he spent the first half of last season on loan.
Gabigol's time at the Estádio Urbano Caldeira will be coming to an end this month and he is currently on course to return to Inter, but the Nerazzurri have already confirmed that the forward is free to leave in January.
"Gabigol will finish the loan with Santos in January and then return to Inter," said sporting director Piero Ausilio, quoted by football.london. "For the next six months, we will have no space for him. We are happy with what he has done and we will find the best solution with him."
Personally think he would be a flop, has failed to make any impact in Europe and was never prolific back in Brazil.— Ben Davis (@Ben1802d) December 19, 2018
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that West Ham will open negotiations with Inter soon as they look to bolster their attacking options during the second half of the season, although Manuel Pellegrini's side will face competition from across Europe.
Gabigol was once held in higher regard than national teammate Gabriel Jesus, but the 22-year-old has fallen by the wayside since joining Inter in an astonishing €29.5m switch from his boyhood team in Brazil.
The Brazilian won a gold medal at the Olympics in 2016, scoring twice during a group stage match against Demark as the Seleção eventually went on to beat Germany on penalties, with the winning strike coming from Neymar.
Gabigol only ever made 10 appearances for Inter, scoring his only goal for the club during a 1-0 win over Bologna. Despite his low scoring record in Europe, the Brazilian has been on the scoresheet 19 times since returning to Santos in January 2018.