Manchester United is reportedly targeting Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa in the upcoming January transfer window and is willing to offer Antony as part of a loan exchange deal. With the team struggling to find the back of the net, United is exploring options to bolster its attacking options in a financially responsible manner. Barbosa, who has been in excellent form for Flamengo, could be available at a discounted price, while Antony’s loan move could provide a fresh start for the young Brazilian winger.
United’s Struggles and the Need for Attacking Reinforcements
Manchester United has faced difficulties in scoring goals this season, with key players like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial struggling to find consistent form. As the team awaits potential investment from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, they must adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations and are exploring cost-effective deals to strengthen their attacking options. With only one goal to his name, Rashford’s previous season’s goal-scoring prowess has not been replicated, making the need for reinforcements even more pressing.
Barbosa’s Availability and Flamengo’s Interest in Antony
Gabriel Barbosa, 27, has enjoyed a prolific season with Flamengo, scoring 18 goals across all competitions. With his contract set to expire at the end of 2024, Barbosa is available at a discounted price of £20 million. Flamengo has also shown interest in Antony, United’s Brazilian winger, and is open to the idea of a loan exchange deal. Antony, 23, who joined United from Ajax for £82 million in 2022, has yet to find the back of the net this season and has faced off-field controversies. However, his long-term contract with United until 2027 makes a permanent exit unlikely at this stage.
Competition for Barbosa and Other Targets
AC Milan is also reportedly interested in signing Gabriel Barbosa, as the Brazilian striker aims to prove himself in European football. While Barbosa had an underwhelming spell with Inter Milan in the past, he remains determined to succeed on the continent. Premier League rival West Ham previously held talks for Barbosa’s signature in January last year but failed to secure a deal. Manchester United is also considering other striking options, including Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, a 31-year-old center-forward who impressed at the World Cup but is set to become a free agent next summer. Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen are also on United’s shortlist, although their potential transfers would likely involve significant fees.
Hojlund’s Struggles and United’s Forward Line
Rasmus Hojlund, who led the line for Manchester United in their recent 1-0 win over Fulham, has yet to score a Premier League goal in his first eight appearances. During the match, he was substituted with just over ten minutes of regular time remaining, and his frustration was evident as he took his place among the substitutes. As United seeks to address their goal-scoring woes, the underperformance of Hojlund and other forwards highlights the urgency to strengthen the attacking department.
Manchester United’s plans for the January transfer window involve pursuing Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa while considering an exchange deal involving Antony. The team’s struggles in front of goal have necessitated the search for attacking reinforcements, and Barbosa’s impressive form for Flamengo makes him an attractive target. Meanwhile, competition from AC Milan and the potential pursuit of other strikers like Mehdi Taremi, Ivan Toney, and Victor Osimhen provide alternative options for United. As the transfer window approaches, United aims to address its goal-scoring issues and enhance its chances of success in domestic and European competitions.