By Alex Beard

8th Jan, 2020 | 11:56am

Reported striker swoop would be big risk for West Ham

West Ham United need some new additions to get things back on track after a woeful first half of the season, that much is clear.

However, given the deficiencies in goal, at right back, the heart of the defence and in the middle of the park, you wouldn’t have thought that a new striker would be the club’s priority.

Lo and behold, though, Football Insider have reported that the Hammers have sent a delegation of agents to get a deal done for Inter Milan frontman Gabriel Barbosa.

The Brazilian has been linked with the east London outfit for some time now, and is coming off a hugely prolific loan spell with Flamengo in his homeland.

The Irons are said to have sketched out an initial loan deal until the end of the season, at which point they could buy the player for £17million.

This would be a massive risk for the Irons, though.

Yes, Barbosa scored a colossal 34 goals in 43 games during his most recent loan spell, while he previously hit 43 in 125 for Santos.

However, his form has never ever transferred to European football. For Inter he has scored just once in 10 games, while he bagged the same amount in five games with Benfica.

That doesn’t preclude him from being a success at the London Stadium, but with club record signing Sebastien Haller already in place, is this a gamble the Irons need to take?

Surely new boss David Moyes’ priority should be getting the best out of the striker he already has at the club? Yet this smacks of the board’s signing, rather than the manager’s.

Perhaps Barbosa does arrive and he does manage to continue his electric Flamengo form. But all the evidence so far suggests the opposite would be true.

In other West Ham news, a Hammers transfer that appeared to be a done deal has reportedly stalled.