West Ham’s transfer plans are in jeopardy as they struggle to bring Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa to the Olympic Stadium on loan from Inter Milan.
In keeping with the FA’s work permit regulations, non-EU players must have played a certain percentage of international games over the past two years depending on their FIFA ranking.
Although Barbosa – nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ in his homeland – has appeared in three competitive games for Brazil, none of them have come in the last 12 months, meaning he may not meet the necessary requirements to join the Hammers.
The 20-year-old forward joined Italian giants Inter for £26million last summer from Santos after winning an Olympic gold medal for the host country.
However, he made just one start in 10 appearances and scored a solitary goal in a frustrating first season.
And it seems he may be disappointed further in his attempt to find regular first-team football as he struggles to meet the FA’s strict regulations.
Alternatives have been lined-up should the loan deal for the Brazilian not go through, with Barcelona winger Munir El Haddadi, Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic and West Brom’s record signing Nacer Chadli all on the East London club’s radar.