Gabriel Jesus: "A big factor in me signing for Man City was Pep's phone call – he made me feel wanted"
The 20-year-old Brazilian exploded onto the Premier League scene after making his Citizens debut back in January, scoring three goals in as many league appearances.
And despite having to sit out 10 weeks after breaking a metatarsal at Bournemouth, the youngster bounced back with goals in each of the Blues' final three games of 2016/17.
Jesus had spent the first half of the season in Brazil, netting 12 goals to help Palmeiras seal a first Brasileirao Serie A title since 1994, and winning the player of the season prize.
When I landed in Manchester, I came straight to the training ground – I didn’t even go to my hotel. He wanted me there. It was 6pm and training had been in the morning, but Guardiola waited for me to arrive. I realised he’s a different kind of manager
Those eye-catching performances had Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus clamouring for the starlet’s signature, but Jesus tells FFT that a telephone call from Blues boss Guardiola convinced him that City were the right fit.
Speaking exclusively in the December 2017 issue of FourFourTwo, he says: “Guardiola called me up and said I would be a very important part of his project.
“This obviously made me feel wanted and was a big factor in helping me pick City as my next club. There had been a lot of clubs interested in signing me at the time, but the one I felt most confident in was City.”
And the 2016 Olympic gold medalist reveals that within minutes of him touching down in England to finalise his £27 million transfer, his new manager wanted to meet up.
“When I landed in Manchester, I came straight to the training ground – I didn’t even go to my hotel,” the striker says. “He wanted me there. It was 6pm and training had been in the morning, but Pep waited for me to arrive. I realised he’s a different kind of manager.”
Read the full interview with Gabriel Jesus in the December 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine – a strikers special in which we also interview Alvaro Morata and count down the 30 greatest Premier League forwards ever. Also this month, we meet the father and son working wonders at Harrogate Town, go One-on-One with Dani Alves, find out if 3G pitches are the future of the Football League, and hear about the turmoil Tony Adams went through before, during and after Euro 96. Order a copy now, and then subscribe!