Gabriel Barbosa’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has dismissed rumours of a potential move to Manchester United and labelled the link as “mere speculation.”
Barbosa, more commonly known as just Gabriel, has reportedly been on Man United’s radar for some time with the likes of Atletico Madrid and Leicester City also expressing interest.
The 19-year-old has already made 83 appearances for Santos and has attracted the accolade of being the ‘next Neymar’ due to his sumptuous flair and speed on the ball.
However, speaking to Globo Esporte, Ribeiro rubbished the possibility of Barbosa heading to Old Trafford this summer.
The title of ‘next Neymar’ is always dangerous: what it means is that, from a young age, you’ve taken the Brazilian league by storm, displaying that unequivocally Brazilian ‘Samba’ style of football, complete with fancy flicks and mazy runs past defenders.
What the title doesn’t promise is an aptitude for weathering the physical storm of the Premier League – namely the crushing tackles, being immediately closed down, having no time whatsoever on the ball. How would these prodigal sons of Brazilian football fare in England? My guess: not particularly well.
That said, if there is a Brazilian wonder-kid out there who earns a move to Old Trafford and decimates the Premier League in true Juninho-at-Middlesbrough style, then I won’t complain.