Every week, if not every day, a new team is announced as Gabriel Jesus’ next destination. Indeed, the 19-year-old forward is has become the centre of attention on the international transfer market. Initial fears were that he would be swept away already mid-season, crippling Palmeiras’ title aspirations. However, supporters today feel confident they can count on Gabriel for the rest of the year: Palmeiras have repeatedly expressed the intention to hold on to all key players and Gabriel himself has reinforced the position, firmly stating he aims for the Brazilian championship this year. Kid has a good head on his shoulders.
Does not mean negotiations are not taking place, on the contrary: Palmeiras’ director of football Alexandre Mattos was recently on a European tour, laying out conditions in meetings with representatives from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus and Manchester United. Not only financial conditions but, again, the permanence of Gabriel throughout the year.
The whole thing was slow cooking, but that changed when news today spread that a new contender, Manchester City, had made the best offer so far, €32 million, in addition to allowing Gabriel to remain for the rest of the Brasileirão. Manchester City are not on Gabriel’s top 5 list – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Bayern München – who only need to pay a €24 million fee to release him from his contract with Palmeiras. Any other club, including City, would theoretically have to come up with €40 million.
So why would Palmeiras, owner of 30% of Gabriel Jesus’ economic rights, settle for less than the full amount they could potentially cash in, €12 million? Well, seems like a less orthodox deal is being drafted up, where City would pay Palmeiras €20 million for the club’s 30% share, leaving the remaining €12 million with… Well, Gabriel himself holds 25% of his economic rights, and two agents/investors hold the remaining 45%. Would the three of them share the €12 million? Or would City sign a separate agreement only with Gabriel, purchasing his 25% for the €12 million, completely cutting the agents out of the deal? There are some question marks here, but it is safe to assume that someone will be on the short end of the rope.
All this of course on the premises that Gabriel Jesus wants to play for Manchester City. Which, apparently, he wants, after having received a telephone call from the man himself, City coach Pep Guardiola.
Some claim the deal is sealed, but that is unlikely: Gabriel Jesus has said he will not sign anything until after the Olympic Games. No word from Palmeiras either, although that is the modus operandi of Paulo Nobre’s administration, where silence reigns until the ink has dried. Besides, with the world’s attention on the kid during the Games, why waste the opportunity to receive even more interesting offers? Manchester United have signalled they will make one within the coming week, and so have another of Europe’s major clubs, most likely also this one on Gabriel’s top 5 list. Stay tuned, the show has just begun!