Gabriel Jesus has put on hold any talk over his Manchester City future until the end of the season, amid reported interest from Arsenal.
The Brazilian star has proved a solid signing for Pep Guardiola following his arrival from Palmeiras in 2017. He has had to fight alongside City’s wealth of attacking options since then but is close to 100 goals for the club.
This term, he has battled with the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and last summer’s £100million signing Jack Grealish.
And with Jesus‘ contract expiring next summer, speculation has surfaced as to whether he will stay or go. He could yet sign a new deal to end such talk. But, at 25, the Brazil international has sizeable resale value if he does decide to go.
Indeed, if Jesus wants to leave City, they would rather sell him than lose him for free next summer. Reports have subsequently claimed that Arsenal are keen on signing Jesus.
Speaking to The Guardian, though, the striker flattened talk over his future. He said: “It’s not time to think about this. You expect me to say this, but it’s true.
“This is no time to think about this. Now is the best moment of the season. I want to enjoy, to keep focused on my team, with my teammates, to fight for the Premier League.
“I won it with my teammates three times. And I know how that feels and I want to have that feeling again.
And then of course we also have the tough game on Tuesday against Real Madrid [in the Champions League] and that is my focus.”
Guardiola admitted that he currently “doesn’t care” about Jesus’ future and wants the striker focused on the quest for a Champions League and Premier League double.
Gabriel Jesus in Man City battle
Jesus is in a rich vein of form having scored four against Watford on Saturday. Still, the Brazilian admitted that such a performance does not guarantee him a starting role in Tuesday’s semi-final first leg.
Jesus added that “it’s not just” him who is fighting for game time at City. Sterling, Mahrez and Grealish are never nailed-on starters under Guardiola, who likes to rotate at City.
Gabriel Jesus agrees terms with Arsenal as Manchester City exit looms
Gabriel Jesus agrees terms with Arsenal as Erling Haaland pushes him out of Manchester City
However, the manager knows what he gets from Jesus, who outlined what he thinks is his best trait.
“A street player,” he said. “Like you go there and play up front, run everywhere and then try to fight to regain the ball to attack, to do the actions quickly. I think this is my quality.”
Arsenal move makes sense
Arsenal need a new striker amid their proposed lack of a nailed-on centre-forward in the summer.
Arteta allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave for Barcelona on a free transfer in January.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could follow him out the door in the summer, when their current contracts are set to expire.
And Arteta, who used to be Guardiola’s assistant at Man City, worked with Jesus at the Etihad Stadium.
The Spaniard therefore knows how Jesus operates in training and on the pitch and the move, however, expensive, would make sense.