New Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has reportedly bid £16.7m to land Palmeiras striker Gabriel Jesus ahead of interested parties Manchester United and Bayern Munich, according to The Sun.
Billed as ‘one of Brazil’s hottest properties’ by the red-top, Jesus has been tracked by a number of clubs around Europe, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid all thought to be interested.
City appear to be at the front of the queue for his signature though, after matching his release clause.
However, Guardiola faces competition from former club Barcelona in attempting to sign the 19-year-old, with the player himself suggesting Barcelona would be his preferred destination.
“To go to Barcelona would be a dream. I am aware of my conditions, I know what my potential is and what I can give.”
The emerging talent has played just 60 times since making his debut in 2015 but has made a big impression, scoring 20 goals, including 13 in 23 games in 2016.
Jesus is a typical modern day attacker, with the ability to play anywhere across the front three and is considered, by some, to have the potential to be the new Neymar.
Like most Brazilian attackers his key attributes are his pace and trickery, although his composure and finesse inside the box as well as his hold up play is remarkable for a 19-year-old.
He missed out on a place in the Brazil squad for the Copa América Centenario in the United States this summer, but he is expected to represent his country at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
Legendary Brazil forward Ronaldo has hailed Gabriel and touted him for future success with the national team.
Ronaldo told The Sun:
“I’m betting on two talents, they’re still developing but have a lot of quality. Gabriel Barbosa of Santos and Gabriel Jesus of Palmeiras are very young talents and haven’t even turned 20.”
Every top club in Europe is likely to want Jesus and it will be interesting to see where he ends up this summer.
Steven Parkhill, Pundit Arena