Pep Guardiola wants Gabriel Jesus to stay at Man City despite transfer links to Arsenal

Jesus attracts interest from Arsenal as he enters the final year of his contract at Manchester City but Guardiola still considers him a key member of his squad

Pep Guardiola is desperate to keep Gabriel Jesus at Manchester City
Pep Guardiola is desperate to keep Gabriel Jesus at Manchester City

Gabriel Jesus may have become one of Arsenal’s top targets for the summer transfer window but Pep Guardiola is reportedly keen on keeping him at Manchester City.

The Gunners will be on the lookout for a new striker as Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are set to leave Emirates Stadium. Jesus, meanwhile, is nearing the final year of his contract at City, which marks him out as a potential option.

The Brazilian has scored 13 goals and provided 12 assists to help City top the Premier League table and reach the Champions League semi-finals. However, it was widely reported that he was frustrated with his playing time.

With City completing the signing of Erling Haaland, Jesus’ options are likely to diminish again. With the Norwegian’s arrival imminent, Jesus could be looking to continue this summer, especially as his contract enters his final year.

But while Arsenal are keen to take him out of City hands, the league leaders seem less keen to see him go. According to ESPN, City boss Guardiola would rather keep Jesus than sell him to the Gunners.

While the Spaniard won’t stand in the way of an exit if Jesus demands one, City are making the chances of a deal less likely. They are said to have put a £55million price tag on the 25-year-old following Arsenal’s ‘first contact’.

Jesus draws Arsenal interest as he enters the final year of his City contract


(Getty Images)

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But that’s a number that has had the Gunners “weighing their options” after fighting back City’s demands. The hefty fee is said to be based on City’s “respect” for the forward and is also a bid to recoup the £52million they pay Borussia Dortmund for Haaland.

While negotiations between the clubs over the price have stalled, talks with Jesus himself appear to be progressing well. The striker’s agent Marcelo Pettinati confirmed last week talks had taken place.

“We had talks with Arsenal about Gabriel Jesus. We like the project – it’s a possibility we’re discussing. Six other clubs are interested in Gabriel. He’s focused on recent games with Man City; we’ll see,” he told The Guardian.

Arsenal’s likely lack of participation in next season’s Champions League could also see Guardiola grant his wish to see Jesus stay. It is said that missing the first four would make a move “harder to pull off” for Jesus.

The Gunners will now wait until after the final game of the season before making their next move, although Arteta is said to be a “great admirer” of Jesus. Whether that will result in a deal is currently unknown, although Guardiola will certainly hope he stays.

The City boss made it clear last month that he sees Jesus’ contributions as vital to his side’s success. He said: “What we’ve done this season, we’ve done with Gabriel, Gabriel is one of the best. But every player here is happy if they play 90 minutes of every game the whole time.

“Maybe at the end of the season he’ll say: ‘No, I don’t want to sign the contract’, (or) we convince him to stay, maybe he decides: ‘I want more minutes, I want to go’. Nobody knows. I don’t care now. I want to focus, we have seven games left, maybe eight games, we have less than a month, that’s all.”

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