Newcastles January transfer pursuit of Gabriel Barbosa may rely on £40m Magpies star

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Newcastle have been handed a blow as Callum Wilson is set to be out for a number of weeks, but with the transfer window now open they could make an audacious move for Flamengo star Gabriel Barbosa, although it could hinge on one star.

The January transfer window is now underway and Newcastle can finally begin their mass spend since becoming the world’s richest club.

Eddie Howe’s side are currently deep in the relegation zone and have only managed one Premier League win all season, meaning that Newcastle must produce a miracle to drag themselves out of the bottom three.

They now have the money to do so however, and although Howe has already said that the club have to be ‘realistic’, they continue to be linked with attacking stars, one of which is highly-rated Brazilian Gabriel Barbosa.

It appears though that if Newcastle are to be successful in any pursuit, it may hinge on the future of their club record signing.

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Newcastle stunned the Premier League back in 2019, as they splashed £40m on Hoffenheim forward Joelinton shortly after Steve Bruce was appointed manager.

The deal would have upset former boss Rafael Benitez, who brought Newcastle back up from the Championship but parted ways with the club after he was denied suitable transfer funds by the previous owner Mike Ashley.

Joelinton arrived for the mammoth fee, but has been somewhat of a flop since arriving on Tyneside, and has even been referred to as the worst signing ever Premier League signing due to the lack of value he has shown.

This year has been rather different though, as the Brazilian has been a shining light in what has been a disappointing campaign for Newcastle, and better still, Joelinton may be the difference when it comes to signing Barbosa.

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The 25-year-old continues to dominate in his native Brazil with Flamengo, but is eager to have another go in Europe after previously enjoying spells with Inter Milan and Benfica.

Barbosa is available for a loan deal and has been monitored long-term by Newcastle with head of recruitment Steve Nickson making trips to South America to watch the star in action.

The Brazilian continues to be in prolific form for Flamengo, scoring 29 goals and recording nine assists from 43 appearances in all competitions for his club during the current campaign.

The deal could be a straight forward one for Newcastle too, as they could trigger a loan deal until the end of the season and then make the move permanent for £17m in the summer.

Joelinton could persuade him to join too, as according to the ChronicleLive, Barbosa “likes” the idea of a move to Newcastle and he would love to team up with his Brazilian counterpart.

With Callum Wilson set to be out for a number of weeks due to an injury sustained during the 1-1 draw against Manchester United, a move becomes even more important for Newcastle.

Newcastle have struggled this season and Callum Wilson is the club’s top scorer, meaning that his absence is a major blow for Howe in his hunt for survival.

The Magpies need acquisitions this window and they need them fast, as with so many games already cancelled due to Covid, their situation appears even tougher with a backlog of games building up.

However, with the right signings they can approach these games with players that they wouldn’t have formerly had at their disposal.

Barbosa may not have excelled in Europe just yet, but this could be the perfect opportunity for the Brazilian, and it could send Newcastle on their way to survival in the process.

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