Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has been in talks with Arsenal about a potential move this summer, according to his agent.
Jesus, 25, has one year left on his deal at the Etihad and refused to rule out a move away from the club following his four-goal performance against Watford last month.
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After City announced the signing of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, Jesus might not be a first-team regular for the club next season and his agent Marcelo Pettinati has said Arsenal are interested in signing him.
“We had talks with Arsenal about Gabriel Jesus,” he told the Guardian on Wednesday. “We like the project — it’s a possibility we’re discussing.
“There are six more clubs interested in Gabriel. He’s focused on the final games with Man City; we’ll see.”
Sources have told ESPN that City’s successful pursuit of Haaland has given Arsenal more encouragement they could pull off a deal for Jesus this summer.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta coached Jesus during his three-year spell as City’s assistant manager under Pep Guardiola.
The strong relationship between Guardiola and Arteta is another factor in Arsenal’s favor given that the Premier League leaders would typically avoid letting a player join a domestic rival.
Sources also indicate Jesus enjoyed working under Arteta at City. Arsenal believe Haaland’s arrival will accelerate the 25-year-old’s departure and those close connections could provide a useful advantage in the race for his signature.
The north London club will be keen to add a striker for next season after captain Alexandre Lacazette said he has held talks with other clubs about a transfer this summer while Eddie Nketiah has yet to sign an extension at the Emirates.
Jesus has made 39 appearances for City in all competitions this season, contributing 13 goals and 12 assists in the process.
When asked about Jesus in his news conference on Wednesday ahead of the north London derby, Arteta said: “You know that I don’t talk about any players that are not with us.”
He added: “I am looking for the strikers that we have in the team, and this is my focus. We have three games to go and that’s the only thing I am focusing on.”
Information from ESPN’s James Olley was included in this report.