Gabriel Jesus captured the attention of the media with his match-winning performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League. Beating Real Madrid 2-1, and at the Santiago Bernabeu for that matter, took many by surprise who never gave Manchester City a chance heading into the fixture. With the victory, the Cityzens took a huge step toward qualification for the quarter-finals of the competition. Jesus was instrumental to the win, scoring the first goal while putting a lot into the defensive phase of the game to ensure the success of Pep Guardiola’s game plan on the night.
Since the history-making match, the young Brazilian has been the subject of transfer speculation. Stories of a possible move away from Man City peaked in the last week with Juventus reportedly the most likely destination. But will a man brought in to understudy and subsequently replace Sergio Aguero choose to ditch the club at such a critical time?
Who can pass up the opportunity to partner with one of the best players the game has ever witnessed in attack and have a chance of conquering not only Italy as Juventus has done in the last eight years, but even the continent as well? So the logic goes. That in Italy, Jesus will have a chance to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and other world class players and Aguero’s fellow countrymen Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain? He will equally be in line to replace the latter in the team.
The fact that City have been banned from continental football for the next two campaigns makes the proposition more appealing. The former Palmeiras forward wouldn’t have to wait another two years before competing for the biggest prize in club football. If anything, he will be contending for the trophy with the Italian giants. But then again, is Jesus that eager to leave a club that showed so much faith in him for the past three years and jump ship at the first opportunity?
The man who helped facilitate his move to England, Giovanni Branchini, did nothing to assure City fans of the contrary when he stated in an interview with Calciomercato that everything is possible in the transfer market.
Addressing the links to Juventus, he stated: “We are talking about a great footballer and a great club, everything is possible.
”The difficulties of acquiring power will lead to not many transfers, it is better to keep who you already have in the squad, there will not be a lot of movement on the transfer market.
“But some clubs with great economic power could lead to some sensational transfers that previously appeared unthinkable.”
However, he added when probed further on the possibility of Jesus leaving City: “I am convinced that he will stay at City as long as City want him, as long as the team wants to maintain a certain type of profile.
“The only hypothesis I see is that if the owners should reduce their commitment or ambitions – which I don’t think will happen – he will accept the farewell, but he will never want to leave.”
That makes it clear the 22-year-old will not seek a move away from City as things currently stand. This is really the media doing their thing with regard to speculations concerning players’ movement to other clubs as the end of the season approaches.
Although Jesus has faced fierce competition for minutes from Sergio Aguero since moving to the Etihad Stadium in January 2017, he expects to have his time in the sun soon as the legendary striker nears the end of his time at the club. Jesus signed a contract extension with City in August 2018 that is expected to keep him tied to the Blues until the summer of 2023.
Despite the uncertainty now associated with the club as a result of the Champions League ban and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the young striker can still be expected to stay at the Etihad Stadium for the foreseeable future. Unless, the club decide to sell. So City fans can treat this as just another rumour. After all, Juventus have said nothing as the rumour has raged on.