Incoming £27 million signing Gabriel Jesus has revealed that he turned down more lucrative offers to join Manchester City last summer.
In an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo, the 19-year-old spoke of joining City and his reasons for rejecting the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter Milan.
City fended off intense competition for the new jewel of Brazilian football, and he told FourFourTwo:
“There was [a lot of interest in my signature], but I don’t want to name any club.
“The decision to join City was taken by me, with my family and my agent – and it wasn’t the best financial offer. We considered many things, but I really appreciate the whole City project and I’m so happy with the decision. City are a huge club in a country that loves football and has one of the best leagues.”
The appeal of City, once reliant on the newly-acquired riches, has been boosted by the arrival of Pep Guardiola, a coach many starlets want to work with because of his track record in developing young talents. And not for the first time, Gabriel Jesus spoke warmly of his new boss.
“I can’t deny that working with Guardiola helped with my decision. He’s an excellent manager – one of the best in the world – and I can’t describe how proud I am when he says good things about me. I’m proud that he likes my way of playing, but that’s not enough for me. I need to show that he was right about me.”
Gabriel Jesus is not the biggest player, but is known for his tenacity and never-say-die attitude. One might compare him to Luis Suárez, a player Pep Guardiola is known to admire, and the Brazilian explained why he doesn’t forsee any problems adapting to the physical demands of the Premier League.
“I like to define myself as a fighter on the pitch.
“I like to be aggressive, trying to go forward. Since my early days I’ve been used to playing with older boys and strong defenders. I’m not scared of tough tacklers. I want to win – I’ll fight to make sure we do.”
The full interview with Gabriel Jesus will be available in the January 2017 edition of FourFourTwo