Exclusive - Gabriel Barbosa is open to joining Newcastle United despite them being involved in a relegation battle, 90min understands.
Newcastle are one of several English clubs who have held preliminary talks about a deal for the 25-year-old and they are ready to firm up their interest.
The Magpies are urgently looking to bolster Eddie Howe's squad, and we have been told that they could bring in two forwards during the January transfer window.
Barbosa – better known as Gabigol – has been one of the stars of South American football following a brilliant few seasons with Flamengo, leading them to their most successful era in generations and scoring 103 goals in 145 games.
Gabigol’s form has also seen him recalled to the Brazil national side, re-establishing himself as their first-choice number nine. His willingness to make such a seismic career move in a World Cup year has impressed Newcastle.
He previously had an unsuccessful stint in Europe when he joined Inter as a teenager, but now at 25 feels better prepared. 90min revealed last year that a move to England is understood to be his preference.
Flamengo themselves had hoped the recent appointment of Paulo Sousa as manager might be enough to persuade Gabigol to stay, but they have been informed that the player would like to test himself abroad again.
Newcastle are now looking closely at what a deal with Flamengo would look like. It is believed Gabigol would cost in the region of £30m – although an initial loan is also an option given Newcastle’s precarious position in the Premier League table.
West Ham United also have a long standing interest in the player dating back to when the player first moved to Europe and they have also held talks with intermediaries – but it is believed manager David Moyes would like to look at other options before sanctioning a move for Gabigol.
Chelsea, Aston Villa and Wolves have also had contact, but Newcastle and West Ham are currently the most advanced in their talks.