Manchester United’s summer spending is not yet over with Gabriel Barbosa, 19, the latest target.
The Santos forward burst into life against Denmark at the Rio Olympic Games just as Inter Milan outbid Premier League champions Leicester City. ‘Gabigol’ found his form at exactly the right time for his club.
Claudio Ranieri thought he had stolen a march on his rivals with a £23m bid for the striker but last week the Italian giants were announced as being in prime position after the Santos delegation which is touring Europe spoke to the media.
However, Jose Mourinho has identified the Brazilian starlet as the solution to strengthening his strikeforce. United are preparing a £30m bid to bring the youngster to Old Trafford and expected to formally make the offer in the next 48 hours.
A complication to Mourinho’s plans is that Gabigol is unlikely to receive a work permit from the British government. Santos, currently second in Serie A, will want to loan the striker back until the end of their season in December, similar to the deal Manchester City have struck with title rivals Palmeiras.
The news comes as a blow to Ranieri who is desperate to inject some life and optimism into the Foxes title defence following Saturday’s limp opening day 1 – 2 defeat at Hull City.
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