Man Utd braced for more embarrassment as Liverpool remarks resurface

The pressure has eased on Erik ten Hag after Man Utd defeated Fulham

Manchester United could be left red-faced in January if they end up signing Flamengo forward Gabriel Barbosa, who has previously expressed a fondness for Liverpool. The Red Devils are said to be in the market for attacking reinforcements and have recently been credited with a desire to land Barbosa, with the 27-year-old having scored 18 times for Flamengo this season.

The forward, commonly known as Gabigol, has reportedly been earmarked as a potential January signing to alleviate United’s woes in front of goal. Rasmus Hojlund joined the club over the summer but is yet to score in the Premier League, leading to suggestions that Erik ten Hag could look to land another striker at the turn of the year.

It was reported by The Mirror last week that United were plotting a part-exchange deal for Barbosa that would see Antony move in the other direction. The Flamengo man previously tried his luck in Europe with Inter Milan before returning to Brazil in 2021 but could be on his way back to the big time with United if they decide to firm up their interest in January.

However, such a move could prove controversial for the Red Devils given that Barbosa has previously suggested that he would love to play for their biggest rivals.

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Speaking two years ago, he heaped praise on then-Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino before opening the door to a potential Anfield move as he said: “Firmino is great, I really admire him. 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. Liverpool have a very interesting team and a fantastic coach.”

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Liverpool are not currently thought to be considering a move for Barbosa, with the Reds able to count on the likes of Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo in attack. It means that United will likely have a free run at Barbosa in January, although it remains to be seen if he will be welcomed at Old Trafford given his previous comments.

He is not the only name on United’s attacking shortlist, though, with Ivan Toney and Victor Osimhen also believed to be of interest to the Red Devils. Porto forward Medhi Taremi was mentioned by The Mirror as another possible target, but only time will tell which direction United will go in when January rolls around.

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