The Brazilian striker did not seek a return to the Nerazzurri before making a loan move to Brazil permanent, says his management

Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa’s success at Flamengo was never going to pave the way for a return to Inter, according to the Brazil striker’s agent.

The 23-year-old spent just 12 months in Italy following his transfer from Santos in August 2016, scoring one goal in nine Serie A appearances before being loaned out to Benfica, where he played a single league match.

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From there he re-joined Santos on another temporary deal and then moved to Flamengo, first on loan before making a permanent switch to the Maracana in January 2020, reportedly earning Inter €17 million (£15m/$18m).

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Gabigol’s 25 goals in 29 Serie A appearances for Flamengo in 2019, which came after a haul of 18 league strikes for Santos the previous year, led to speculation that Inter might try to recall him.

But his agent, Junior Pedroso, insists that was never a possibility.

He told Calciomercato: “Have you ever heard Gabigol say: ‘I’m doing very well in Brazil, now I want to show Inter that I can do well there as well’, or something like that? No, never.

“The reality is that there was no chance of returning. It was never an option.”

Since signing permanently for Flamengo, Gabigol has scored 11 goals in 10 matches across all competitions, and Pedroso believes leaving Inter for good was the best outcome for all parties.

“It was a good deal for everyone: Inter wanted to negotiate the sale, Flamengo wanted to buy him and Gabriel wanted to return to his club,” Pedroso said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say that Flamengo have been very professional with their leadership.”

While a return to the San Siro seems unlikely, Gabigol has previously expressed a desire to play for Liverpool.

The centre-forward revealed he would love to play alongside compatriot Roberto Firmino at Anfield one day.

“Firmino is great, I really admire him,” he told the Sun. “He’s been successful for many years in Europe.

“He is a powerful forward and he has been great for Brazil. He is an inspiration that I look up to.

“It would be a pleasure to play with him. Maybe we could team up for Brazil in the future and Liverpool is a team that everyone wants to play for.”

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