City trump Barca to land £27m Jesus
Published 04/08/2016 | 02:30
Pep Guardiola has beaten former club Barcelona to the signing of a second player after Manchester City landed the Brazilian wonder kid, Gabriel Jesus, yesterday in a deal that takes the manager's summer spending past £100million.
City have agreed to pay Palmeiras an initial fee of £27m for the 19-year-old forward (above) with a further £4.2m payable in add-ons depending on his success.
Jesus, hailed as the new Neymar in Brazil and regarded as one of the brightest young talents in world football, has signed a five-year contract but he will see out the remainder of his existing deal with Palmeiras, which runs until December, when Brazil's national league championship season ends.
He will join up with City in January, when they will begin paying his wages. He becomes the second player Guardiola has managed to snare at Barcelona's expense after Nolito snubbed a move to the Nou Camp to join the Manchester club from Celta Vigo in a £13.8m deal earlier this summer.
"Manchester City is one of the best clubs in the world so I'm really pleased to sign," said Jesus, who signed a day after City sealed a £37m deal for Germany winger Leroy Sane. "We have many great talents in the team and a fantastic manager in Pep Guardiola that I can learn so much from."
Txiki Begiristain, City's director of football, said: "He is one of the most exciting young prospects in world football and plays the game in a spectacular way."
Named "best newcomer" in the 2015 Serie A Campeonato in Brazil, Jesus has scored 26 goals in 67 first-team games for Palmeiras. Jesus's arrival takes City's summer spending, minus add ons, to £102.8m, with Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan also having arrived, from Borussia Dortmund for £21.6m, and Ukraine midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko from FC Ufa for £3.4m. Gundogan is hoping to make his City debut in the derby against Manchester United on September 10.