RIO DE JANEIRO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Flamengo head coach Abel Braga on Thursday played down reports linking Colombian striker Fernando Uribe to the club's Brazilian Serie A rivals Santos.
Uribe, who is contracted with Flamengo until 2021, has struggled for first-team opportunities since joining the Rio club from Mexico's Toluca last year.
"He [Uribe] finished last year strongly and started this year well too," Braga told reporters. "He had a personal problem and then interest from Santos but I'm not going to cut him loose. I'd like to be able to keep him."
This year, Uribe has scored just twice in 14 matches across all competitions and he is still waiting for his first appearance in the Serie A after four rounds.
Santos head coach Jorge Sampaoli is known to be seeking a central striker and speculation has mounted that a formal offer for the 31-year-old could be accepted within days.
Flamengo's attacking options currently include Inter Milan loanee Gabriel Barbosa, former CSKA Moscow forward Vitinho and Brazil U-20 striker Lincoln.
Uribe has been capped twice for Colombia's national team and his club career has included spells with Atletico Nacional, Millonarios and Once Caldas.