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Brazil: Serie A

Leicester City Join Race for Gabriel Barbosa

SANTOS, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 05: Gabriel of Santos celebrates scoring the second goal during the match between Santos and Cruzeiro for Copa do Brasil 2014 at Vila Belmiro Stadium on November 5, 2014 in Santos, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
SANTOS, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 05: Gabriel of Santos celebrates scoring the second goal during the match between Santos and Cruzeiro for Copa do Brasil 2014 at Vila Belmiro Stadium on November 5, 2014 in Santos, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

Leicester City have reportedly made a move for their next striker, and no it isn’t another Englishmen that has risen up from the bottom. Leicester have reportedly made a 23-million pound offer for Brazilian wonder kid Gabriel Barbosa or “Gabigol” who plays in the Brazlian league for Santos. Sound familiar? A talented, young, brazlian attacker who plays for Santos, with a flashy style of play who has yet to play in Europe… sounds a lot like Neymar (Barcelona) to me. I am not saying he is the next super star, but Gabigol certainly has all of the qualities to be a hit if he moves to Leicester.

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Gabriel announced back on July 17th, that his future would be decided soon by saying “Soon you will know something” Well I guess soon means something different in Brazilian as we are almost a month out from that comment and there is no word on his future as of yet. Inter Milan are supposedly winning the race for the player after Santos announced they accepted Inter’s bid around the same price as Leicester’s.

Gabriel is also a noted target of Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, and even Manchester City and Manchester United have been interested in the forward. It is certainly a bold move for Leicester to go after one of the hottest young talents in the world and if the striker decides on a move to the King Power Stadium, it would really say something bout the meteoric rise of Leicester to take such a highly praised prospect out from under the giants in world football. Leicester would need another striker, as Jamie Vardy, and Ahmed Musa seem to be the only reliable options up front for the Foxes. Gabriel will add another dynamic to a threatening Leicester front line and could help push Leicester into another surprising season.

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We know why Leicester would choose Gabriel since he is a highly sought after prospect with high potential, but why would he want a move to the Foxes? A big reason in my eyes is Champions League football with no expectation of success in the competition. This is completely new territory for Leicester as reining Premier League champions and anything more than a win or two will surely be seen as a rousing success. Gabriel could be tempted by the lure of Champions League football with a club that would allow him to participate in the major competition in his first season in Europe. Bigger clubs such as Barcelona, Juventus and so on, would not be able to offer the playmaker regular first team minutes let alone Champions League time. If he is offered first team football and guaranteed Champions league minites, he could surely join Leicester and be an instant impact player.

It is thought Leicester would like a relatively quick reply from the player if the offer were accepted by Santos. The more likely timetable for him to make his decision is after the Olympics are over or whenever Brazil is knocked out of the soccer competition. It seems likely that he may look to join one of the world’s elite clubs but Leicester’s offer should not be over looked so easily. Watch out for this move and this kid’s future wherever it may lie.

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