West Ham’s Pursuit of Marouane Fellaini to Spell the End of Their Interest in Gabriel Barbosa

Exclusive – West Ham are keen on signing Marouane Fellaini from Shandong Luneng this month – and the move is set to spell the end of the Hammers’ pursuit of Brazilian forward Gabriel Barbosa.

David Moyes took charge at the London Stadium at the end of December, and has made it a priority since his arrival to reunite with Fellaini – a player he has worked with at two former clubs in Everton and Manchester United.


32-year-old Fellaini still has two years to run on his contract at the Chinese Super League club, however a new salary cap that is set to be introduced for CSL sides means Fellaini would have to take a 75% pay cut to extend his stay in the eastern province. He’s understood to be keen on a return to the Premier League after leaving United in February 2019.

90min understands that West Ham could opt to use the bulk of their January budget to pursue Fellaini, and should a move complete it will mean little is left to invest. 

Fellaini is likely to cost a fee smaller than Barbosa – often referred to as Gabigol – and he is understood to be valued by parent club Inter at around €25m. The Belgian’s wage demands will be substantially higher and eat into most of that sum as a total package of transfer fee and wages. He earns around £200,000 per week at Shandong.


Moyes brought the midfielder to Manchester on deadline day in 2013, splurging £27.5m to get his man. The Belgium international spent five-and-a-half years with the Red Devils.

In his press conference on Thursday ahead of the clash with ?Sheffield United, Moyes interestingly outlined his desire to bring in players with Premier League experience. Fellaini has scored 27 goals in 260 ?Premier League appearances during his time at Everton and United and has 78 caps for Belgium. He ticks that box.

The Hammers have already been busy in the January window, having already ?agreed a deal in principle to bring in ?Portuguese midfielder Gedson Fernandes on loan from Benfica. 

The club have also held interest in Genk’s 21-year-old Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge, but it is unlikely that he will move to the Premier League this month as things stand given their progress with other targets. 

Gedson Fernandes

Meanwhile, the West Ham’s decision to pursue a deal for Fellaini could open the door to ?Chelsea to follow up ?their reported interest in Barbosa. Frank Lampard is searching for a quality striker he can rely on to play a supporting role to Tammy Abraham as the 22-year-old continues his development.

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