Manchester United signed Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic for free on the transfer market this summer. The signing has already gelled well with the team and has returned four goals in three successive matches for the Red Devils. However, United manager, Jose Mourinho wants to add Gabriel Barbosa of Santos to his setup, in a view of building the striking department which could serve the club for years to come.
Barbosa, who just won the gold for Brazil at Rio 2016 Olympics is being chased by the likes of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid as well. Modesto Roma, Santos president has been meeting the club representatives over the future of the 19-year-old forward, as reported by Express.
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Despite United being interested, latest reports suggest that official offers for the player has only come from Italy.
“The only real offers come from Juventus and Inter and now it depends on Gabriel. Santos don’t have to accept or refuse, the clauses for a move are in his contract and the club will respect them” Roma said.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s interest in the player remains as the Red Devils know that Ibrahimovic is a solution for the present, given his age. Although the Red Devils possess the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who could fill the striker’s position in future, Barbosa would add quality depth to their already strong attacking lineup.
“Up until now, I haven’t really had the time to think about anything because my attention was completely on the Olympics. Now I will celebrate with my family, then I will return to Santos and think about what I should do.” Barbosa said, as reported by Manchester Evening News.
The talented Brazilian, dubbed as the “next Neymar” is valued at $33 million by Santos and this is where the deal could stumble for United. The Red Devils have already spent a fortune on French midfielder Paul Pogba this season. The club hierarchy want’s the deadwood players to be sold first before making any new signings.
Meanwhile, Mourinho is reportedly in a “standoff” with the United board as he wants to sign Southampton center-back, Jose Fonte before the end of the summer transfer window. However, unless expensive acquisitions like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marcos Rojo are shipped out of the club, it won’t be possible to acquire the player, according to The Sun.
Fonte is presently valued at $16 million by The Saints.