20-year-old Brazilian Gabriel Jesus exploded onto the Premier League scene after making his Manchester City debut back in January, scoring three goals in as many league appearances, and has now revealed his decision to become a Citizen.
Jesus had spent the first half of the season in Brazil, netting 12 goals to help Palmeiras seal a first Brasileirao Serie A title since 1994, and winning the player of the season prize.
Those eye-catching performances had Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus clamouring for the starlet’s signature, but Jesus says a telephone call from Blues boss Pep Guardiola convinced him that City were the right fit.
He said: “Guardiola called me up and said I would be a very important part of his project. This obviously made me feel wanted and was a big factor in helping me pick City as my next club. There had been a lot of clubs interested in signing me at the time, but the one I felt most confident in was City.”
And the 2016 Olympic gold medalist reveals that within minutes of him touching down in England to finalise his £27 million transfer, his new manager wanted to meet up.
“When I landed in Manchester, I came straight to the training ground – I didn’t even go to my hotel,” the striker says. “He wanted me there. It was 6pm and training had been in the morning, but Pep waited for me to arrive. I realised he’s a different kind of manager.”
Jesus has been an integral part of City’s barnstroming start to the current season, scoring 8 goals in 14 games in all competitions for the Citizens.