When Manchester City announced they had signed Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras last summer, it was big news. The young striker was flying in his country and had attracted interest from every single one of the biggest clubs in the world. Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund all sent scouts to watch Jesus play in Brazil, and all were impressed.
But only three teams made actual offers for Gabriel: City, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The two Spanish giants were keen on signing the player, and their salary offers were actually better than City's, according to reports. Jesus had a decision to make, and he chose City a few weeks before the Rio Olympics, where he announced himself as the next big thing in football.
So how did City convince Jesus to join the club instead of Barça and Madrid, without a doubt the two biggest football entities on Earth? We already know about the phone call Pep Guardiola made to tell Jesus about his intentions to work with the kid, and Gabriel himself has said that call was one of the big reasons for his decision. But one of his current teammates, Fernandinho, was also a pivotal player in the deal.
Just like Pep did, a phone call was enough for Dinho to convince his friend and national teammate.
“I just asked him to choose City – to come here. I talked to him and was honest with him. A lot of big teams wanted to sign him, especially Barcelona and Real Madrid. I just told him ‘look, you can take the team sheets of Barcelona and Madrid and see what player of 19 years old plays there in the starting 11.’
“But you have Pep here at City and he loves to have young players in the team – to give this opportunity for young players. I said to him ‘you will have the opportunity to play here. Maybe not in the starting 11 all the time, but to come on regularly’.
“He made his choice. I just talked to him as a friend.”
Source: The Sun
Pretty good sales pitch, Fernandinho. Can you do that with maybe a center-back and a couple of full-backs? We need those next season.