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Marotta casts doubt over Gabigol's Inter future

05:39 GMT+3 28/11/2019
Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa Flamengo 2019
After leading Flamengo to the league and cup double, the future of the Brazilian striker is uncertain

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said it is unlikely Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa will return to Milan as the Serie A club weigh up offers following his stellar loan spell with Flamengo.

Gabigol has made a huge impact at Flamengo, where his goals helped the Brazilian giants to Copa Libertadores and Campeonato Brasileiro glory this season.

After struggling at Inter following his 2016 arrival, star striker Gabigol was initially loaned to Benfica before returning to his native Brazil.

Since moving back to South America on loan, Gabigol has scored 67 goals across all competitions with Santos and Flamengo, who are yet to agree terms on a permanent deal for the 23-year-old following his 40 goals for the Rio de Janeiro-based outfit.

Amid links to Premier League duo West Ham and Everton, and reports he could be used in a deal to bring Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa to Inter, Marotta stressed that no decision has been made just yet bu that a return to the club this season is doubtful.

"We see Gabigol the same way as Lautaro [Martinez], a player who is growing year by year," he told  Sky Sport Italia

"His loan ends in December, after which we'll carefully evaluate what to do with him.

"It's unlikely he'll be part of our project, but he has several proposals and we'll evaluate it all carefully along with the player."

Marotta heaped praise on star forward Martinez, who is enjoying a fine campaign amid reported interest from La Liga champions Barcelona and Premier League giants Manchester United.

Martinez took his season tally to 11 with his double in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League victory at Slavia Prague.

Speaking beforehand, Marotta said: "Lautaro has become increasingly confident and mature, especially for a 22-year-old, so he really has a great career ahead of him."

Antonio Conte's side next face SPAL in Serie A with Inter trailing league leaders Juventus by just one point after 13 league games. 

In the Champions League, the Italian club sit second in their group but need to beat Barcelona in their final group game next month to secure their passage to the knockout stage.