‘Weird’ Man Utd swap deal involving £85m flop is ‘bull’ as Brazil forward is deemed not good enough

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd target Barbosa
Gabriel Barbosa in action for Flamengo.

According to reports coming out of Brazil, Premier League giants Manchester United are not in the race to sign Gabriel Barbosa from Flamengo.

Man Utd could have done with signing two strikers during the recent summer transfer window but they only ended up recruiting Rasmus Hojlund. The former Atalanta forward was snapped up by the Red Devils for an initial fee of around £64m.

Erik ten Hag’s side have endured a miserable start to the season, but Hojlund – despite his poor finishing – has been one of their brighter sparks.

The Red Devils are asking too much of Hojlund at the moment as he is still very inexperienced. If Ten Hag is provided with funds in January, he could look to sign a new striker and they have been linked with Barbosa of late.

The 27-year-old has previously had spells at Inter Milan and Benfica. He joined Flamengo on a permanent deal in 2020 and he’s scored 139 goals in 246 outings for them across all competitions.

Barbosa has been in and out of the team this season, but the Daily Mirror recently claimed Man Utd are looking to sign him and they are ‘willing to offer Antony in part exchange on loan’ to complete the deal. 

Yet according to journalist Jorge Nicola (via Sport Witness), these transfer links are ‘absolutely weird’. The reporter’s compatriot – Venê Casagrande – has since added: “This doesn’t make any sense. This is bull.”

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Casagrande claims it will be difficult for Flamengo to offload Barbosa to a European giants at the moment due to his lack of game time but he is being linked with Man Utd and AC Milan.

The Brazilian outfit are said to have set their asking price at €20m for the forward but he is in talks over a new contract so he could end up committing his future to the club.

As for Antony, he has struggled for Man Utd following his £85m move from Dutch giants Ajax last year. Earlier this month, Ten Hag admitted the winger “can do better”.

“There is also the team, first, the team is not playing well, when they don’t bring him the balls, again, I’m also responsible for that,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“But, obviously, also, there’s a lot of noise and that dropped his levels. He can do better, but all the players can do better.

“Antony is also a fighter, he has the confidence, he is brave, I am confident he will bring the performance that [shows] he is the right player for us.”

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