Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa has given fresh hopes to his European suitors after revealing he was yet to agree his expected move to Juventus. Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona have also been linked with his services in recent weeks and reports in his homeland suggest that the player would prefer a move to the Premier League or La Liga than to Serie A.
The 19-year-old forward, known as Gabigol in his homeland, is ready to play alongside the likes of Neymar in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after garnering a reputation as one of the most promising talents to emerge from Brazilian football.
Barcelona have been monitoring his progress since he was a kid as the La Liga giants have a preference option to sign him thanks to a first refusal they agreed with Santos as part of the Neymar's move to the Nou Camp in the summer of 2013.
Having scored five goals in his last 10 games for Santos, the player has also reportedly attracted the interests of the Premier League giants and Juventus.
Arsenal were reportedly the first to approach the player earlier in June when ESPN Brasil reported Arsene Wenger's side had made an offer to lure the forward to the Emirates Stadium.
Later Daily Mirror claimed Chelsea was confident to win the race for his services after new manager Antonio Conte gave the go-ahead for a £25m ($32.9m) offer for the player.
But earlier this week Juventus emerged as the frontrunners to secure his services after Santos president Modesto Roma confirmed his club had already accepted a €20m offer for the player to move to Serie A.
However, it looks that the Italian champions are struggling to convince the player to complete the move. Nevertheless, the deal is quite complicated because Santos do not own 100% of his rights and Gabigol is said to be demanding a part of the €20m plus his lucrative salary.
"I am not signed yet, I am a Santos and Brazil player," he explained at a media conference on Thursday as quoted by ESPN Brazil. "I am very happy to represent Santos here. Soon, things are going to be sorted. Our focus is only here. Before we came, I was in negotiations, and starting from then I left it with my father and my representatives. I think that soon a decision is going to be taken."
Nevertheless, prestigious Brazillian publication Globo Esporte added that Gabigol was having second thoughts over his move to the Serie A because he believes his style would be a better fit for the Premier League or La Liga.
The news would come as a boost for Chelsea and Arsenal to step up their pursuit for his services. But they would need to move decisively as recent reports in Spain claimed Barcelona's technical director Robert Fernandez had travelled to South America to evaluate different alternatives to strengthen the Catalans' attack. He has named Gabigol among prospective targets alongside highly rated Gabriel Jesus, who is expected to join Manchester City.