Gabriel Barbosa. (Photo: Twitter/@gabigol). Image Source: IANS News

Rio De Janeiro, Jan 29 : Flamengo have secured striker Gabriel Barbosa from Inter Milan on a permanent deal, the reigning Brazilian and South American champions has said.

Barbosa, who spent 2019 on loan at the Rio de Janeiro club, signed a five-year contract after Inter Milan reportedly agreed to a 17 million-euro ($18 million) transfer fee, reports Xinhua news agency.

"You can celebrate, Flamengo fans. He is staying," read the opening line of a statement on the club's official website.

Barbosa scored 43 goals in 59 matches across all competitions for Flamengo last year, helping them to their first Brazilian Serie A title since 2009 and just their second Copa Libertadores crown.

Gabigol, as he is known in Brazil, was considered one of the world's most promising young forwards in 2016, when he joined Inter for 30 million dollars from Santos.

However the 23-year-old's stock fell after he scored just once in 10 matches for the Italian club and then had an equally unsuccessful six-month loan spell at Benfica.

He returned to form while on loan at Santos in 2018, scoring 27 times in 53 matches.

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