Gabriel Jesus was at the centre of a major bidding war before Manchester City won the race for the prodigious Brazilian in 2016. The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Bayern Munich and Manchester United were credited with an interest for Jesus, who was considered Brazil’s hottest property at the time.
Surprisingly, it was Serie A club Inter who came closest to snatching him before City, a fact revealed in an interview with their sporting director Piero Ausilio.
According to him, Inter almost had a deal in place with Palmeiras for Jesus, but the teenager opted for the Etihad Stadium. Can you guess the reason why? Of course you can.
“We’d been negotiating to sign Gabriel Jesus for a week,” Ausilio told Sky Italia. “Our offer was bigger than Man City’s and Palmeiras wanted to sell him to us. The player, however, said that he wanted to play under Guardiola.”
And so it was the pull of Pep Guardiola, the world’s greatest football coach, that proved decisive for City landing Jesus in a £26 million deal from Palmeiras.
The young forward has had his ups and downs at City, but scored the record-breaking goal last season against Southampton that confirmed City as the ‘Centurions’.
And Jesus has found his goal scoring touch again of late, with seven goals in City’s last three games, a sign that the 21-year-old is regaining his confidence after a difficult spell where goals were hard to come by.