Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted on keeping Gabriel Jesus at the club this summer.
What did Romano say about Gabriel Jesus?
The transfer expert claimed that City were open to selling Jesus at the start of the summer, and the striker was linked with a switch to Juventus, in a deal that could have seen Cristiano Ronaldo move to the Etihad Stadium.
However, Romano stated that the potential transfer collapsed as Guardiola wanted Jesus to stay following his excellent performance in City’s opening home game of the season against Norwich when he provided two assists. Ronaldo subsequently moved to City’s arch-rivals, Manchester United.
Romano told The Here We Go Podcast: “Manchester City said ‘no’ to the possibility of including Gabriel Jesus in the negotiation for Cristiano Ronaldo. But for Gabriel, the situation was not so easy at the start of the summer. In June, Manchester City were prepared to open talks for Gabriel Jesus to potential other clubs.
“But then, after the opening match where Gabriel Jesus was fantastic for Manchester City, providing an assist and was great, Pep Guardiola said: ‘no way, he’s staying! We are not allowing him to go to Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo.’ And this is why now the feeling around Gabriel is different. But, he needs to show up if he wants a new contract with Man City because he’s out of contract in two years. He needs to show something different in the whole season, not just in the beginning of the season.
“So, this is why this season will be key to understand if Gabriel will sign a new contract or not.”
Has Jesus built on that Norwich performance?
He certainly has.
After shining against Norwich, Jesus was on top form the following week when City hosted Arsenal. He delivered the assist for the opening goal, and then scored himself just before half-time as the defending Premier League champions cruised to a thumping 5-0 victory.
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Can he nail down a starting spot at City this season?
It seems that Guardiola has never been fully convinced that Jesus is a ready-made replacement for the recently-departed Sergio Aguero up front. This may be the reason that City were considering allowing him to leave at the start of the summer.
Jesus has been used in a different role in the early stages of this season, though, operating from the right wing, and it has worked out well for him so far.
The 47-cap international has shown that he can create goals, as well as scoring them, and if he continues to perform at his current level, he could make the right wing position his own this term.