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Gabigol completes €17m Flamengo move to end Inter spell & leave European suitors frustrated

19:14 GMT+4 28/01/2020
Gabriel Barbosa Gabigol Flamengo 2019
The highly-rated Brazilian forward will be staying his homeland after penning a contract with the Copa Libertadores winners through to 2024

Gabriel Barbosa has brought his association with Inter to a close and frustrated his many suitors in Europe by sealing a permanent €17 million (£14m/$19m) move to Flamengo.

The Brazilian forward will be remaining in his homeland after agreeing a contract through to 2024.

There had been much speculation regarding Gabigol’s next move after he starred for Flamengo during a memorable loan spell.

His goals, including two dramatic efforts in a final date with River Plate, delivered Copa Libertadores glory in 2019.

In total, he found the target 43 times in 59 appearances last season.

That stunning strike rate was said to have brought him to the attention of a number of teams in Europe.

The likes of West Ham were reportedly ready to overlook the fact that the 23-year-old had struggled in Italy at Inter.

Flamengo have, however, won the race for a much sought-after signature and are looking forward to benefitting from Barbosa’s presence for many years to come.

They posted on their official social media channels: "We have the red and black striker's goals until 2024! GABIGOL IS OURS!"

Barbosa is delighted to have seen the uncertainty surrounding his future brought to a close.

He told the club’s official website: “The (Flamengo) Nation embraced me.

“We live in an intense way here. We're passionate! We smile! We suffer! We vibrate! We break barriers.

“If it's for the good of the Nation, I'm staying.”

Gabigol finished as the leading scorer in the Brazilian first division and Copa Libertadores in 2019.

His efforts back in his homeland, which also included a productive loan spell at Santos, stand in stark contrast to the struggles he has endured in Europe.

He arrived at Inter in 2016 with a big reputation, but managed just one goal in nine appearances for the Serie A giants.

A loan stint at Portuguese heavyweights Benfica went little better, as he took in only 165 minutes of competitive action.

It was then that Gabigol took the decision to return to his roots, and he has not looked back.