Steve McManaman has claimed that Gabriel Jesus will join Arsenal over Premier League rivals Tottenham and Chelsea this summer.
The Liverpool legend believes the knowledge that he will be The Gunners’ main striker will be influential in the Brazilian’s decision-making process, according to The Metro.
With the arrival of Erling Haaland on a £54million deal from Borussia Dortmund, and Julian Alvarez from River Plate, Jesus’ time at the Etihad seems to be over as he looks for a move elsewhere for regular football.
Gabriel Jesus scored 13 and assisted 12 in 41 games for Manchester City last season
McManaman said: ‘Is Gabriel Jesus better than what Arsenal have got? The answer is yes. Manchester City are more than happy to let him go because they brought in Erling Haaland, so have Man City improved in that area? Probably, yes.
‘It’s only natural that Gabriel Jesus will start to look at Haaland and think that it’s time to leave. He has the potential to go to Arsenal and be their star man.
‘Alexandre Lacazette has moved on and I know they’ve just re-signed Eddie Nketiah to a new deal, but Jesus will probably come in and know that he’s playing every week and that centre-forward spot is his own.
Steve McManaman believes Jesus’ existing relationship with Mikel Arteta will prove to be key
City have brought in Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, who scored six in one game this season
‘Tottenham is less of a choice for him because they’ve got Harry Kane and Heung-min Son, who’ve both had great seasons, so suddenly that becomes competition for you.
‘For Chelsea, it’ll all depend on whether of course Raheem Sterling turns up there or Romelu Lukaku goes, but they’ve got a plethora of people there, so Arsenal are the one team crying out for his type of player and of course he’s worked with Mikel Arteta so maybe that negates the fact that they’re not in the Champions League.’
Since arriving from Brazilian side Palmeiras in 2016, Jesus has scored 95 goals in 236 City appearances, winning four Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four Carabao Cups.
Jesus played under Arteta for three and a half seasons until Arteta took over as Arsenal boss
Under Arteta at City Jesus won two Premier Leagues, two Carabao Cups and an FA Cup
McManaman also believes the player’s existing relationship with Spanish manager Mikel Arteta from his time at Manchester City will allow the striker to thrive, if he were to move to north London.
This, alongside the promise of regular game time, is likely the Gunners’ best bargaining chip, given that they have failed once again to qualify for the Champions League – something both Tottenham and Chelsea beat them to last season.
With the departure of Romelu Lukaku, there is a vacant spot in the Chelsea number nine role, but Tottenham’s Harry Kane is certainly not going to make way for anyone.
Thomas Tuchel is in need of a striker with Romelu Lukaku set for an return to Inter Milan
The former Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City winger added: ‘There are Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking players at Arsenal already. Mikel Arteta has worked with him before and he’ll be the main man.
‘He can go there and be comfortable with someone he knows already.’
Arsenal have already signed Brazilian teenager Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira from Porto, and Matt Turner from MLS side New England Revolution, and have joined the race for Leeds’ Raphinha.
Tottenham have qualified for the Champions League but Harry Kane is irreplaceable in the side