Flamengo would be open to a six-month loan which would include a £17million option to buy should Howe's men beat the drop.
The former Inter Milan striker is not yet convinced over a move to the north east of England and is said to prefer staying put in his homeland of Brazil, where he has a contract with Flamengo until 2024.
Barbosa, 25, who is also known as Gabigol, has scored 14 goals this season while also recording five assists and has featured 17 times for his country.
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