Gabigol yet to decide on Inter return as he enjoys Santos renaissance

The Brazilian forward struggled during his time in European football, but has returned to form back in his homeland and may decide to stay put

Gabriel Barbosa is yet to decide whether he will be returning to Inter in January after rediscovering his form at Santos.

The Brazilian forward returned to his roots in January after struggling to make his mark in Europe.

Inter snapped him up for €29.5 million (£27m/$34m) in the summer of 2016, but restricted him to just 10 appearances.

A stint in Portugal with Benfica also failed to reignite the 22-year-old’s spark, leading him to head home.

Gabigol has flourished back in familiar surroundings, netting a hat-trick in his latest outing against Vasco de Gama, and admits he may look to extend his stay Santos despite having a contract in Italy.

He told reporters when quizzed on his present and future: “[Coach] Cuca’s given me a lot of confidence, he’s talked to me a lot.

“We’ve been discussing things freely. I think he has an important role in my development and that of the team.

“Regarding the offers I’ve received, I told Cuca that I didn’t want to leave. I needed to stay for him and the fans. The decision to stay was more for my team-mates and the club.

“As for Inter, I didn’t say I want to return but that I should because of my contract. I’m very happy with how well things are going at Santos and for now I’m thinking about them.

“I still have 17 more games to play, I have time to decide if I’ll return or stay. I have to make the most of the opportunities I have here.”

Gabigol has netted 19 times in 38 appearances during a second spell at Santos.

He is showing the kind of form which brought him to the attention of Inter and earned him four senior international caps with Brazil, but it remains to be seen whether he can maintain those standards.

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