By Adefunmiloye Alani

13th Jan, 2022 | 9:10pm

Gabigol unlikely to join West Ham in January transfer window

South American football expert Tim Vickery has told Sky Sports he does not see West Ham signing Gabigol during this January transfer window despite reports.

The Hammers have been linked with the Flamengo striker for ages, and with David Moyes keen on bolstering his squad ahead of the second half of 2021-22, it is believed a move for the Brazil international could be on the cards.

However, Vickery reckons that is not so for so many reasons, but he is not completely ruling it out.

The journalist said on Sky Sports: “I think it’s unlikely he will join West Ham this month. First of all, what does the player want. I know it’s been reported that he’s about to tell his club Flamengo, where he’s been very successful for the last three years, that he wants out.

“If that’s true then it would be a bombshell as the exact opposite is being reported here in Brazil.

“He’s been sitting down with the new coach, the former QPR, Swansea and Leicester boss Paulo Sousa, and talking about how much he wants to feature this year. Would he want to rock the boat in a World Cup year? He’s in the Brazil squad so would he want to risk losing momentum with a move at this point.

“Flamengo neither want to sell nor need to sell and I don’t think they’d be interested in a loan move with an option to buy. You’ve got to stump up your £30m. Do West Ham really want to pay £30m on a 25-year-old where no one really knows if he can do it at this level?

“And although he’s made some progress with his emotional intelligence, he really doesn’t seem like a David Moyes type of character. At the moment, I’d say it’s unlikely but stranger things have happened.”

Move off?

£30million is a lot of money to spend on someone whose first stint in Europe was a disaster, and whether the Hammers are ready to take such a gamble right now remains to be seen.

Sebastien Haller cost them £45million, and he did not last long after failing to impress at the London Stadium.

Gabigol has since bagged 103 goals in 145 games for the Brazilian giants, and while that is a huge return for any hitman, the question remains whether he can reproduce those numbers at a level as competitive and demanding as the English top-flight.

The Inter Milan flop appears unwilling to leave South America right now, with making the World Cup squad later this year his focus.

A move for West Ham could derail all that, so it is only normal if Gabigol is not ready for such a move.

He is not likely to be playing ahead of Michail Antonio, and coming off the bench is not likely to boost his chances of retaining his berth in the national team.

The Hammers need someone who has proven himself in one of Europe’s top-flight leagues, and the quality of whichever striker they bring in would have a huge say on their chances of ending 2021-22 in the top-four and with silverware.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

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