Gabriel Jesus to stay at Palmeiras amid Barcelona links - Cuca

Barcelona representatives watched on as Gabriel Jesus scored twice for Palmeiras, but coach Cuca is confident he will stay.

Palmeiras coach Cuca believes Gabriel Jesus will remain at the club at least until the end of the year, despite interest from Barcelona.

Barca's director of football administration, Raul Sanllehi, and the Catalan club's representative in Brazil, Andre Cury, were in attendance at Allianz Parque as Gabriel Jesus struck twice in 2-0 victory over America Mineiro on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old told Sport this week that a move to Barca would be "a dream", while Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City have all been linked with a move for the striker.

However, Palmieras coach Cuca has insisted the Barca officials were not only in Sao Paulo to watch Gabriel Jesus, who he assured will remain grounded.

"They [Barca's representatives] have been around for a while, not just today. They have already seen other games," Cuca told a post-match media conference. "Gabriel knows this and does not let it mislead him."

Cuca also suggested it is too soon for Gabriel Jesus to think about making a switch to Barca, where he would likely struggle to break into the first team - suggesting that staying in Brazil would aid the forward's development.

"If I were Gabriel's father, I would not let him leave today," continued Cuca.

"He is not going to play in Barcelona today. Who would he play in place of there? Here, he will grow more.

"It is not yet his time. Playing here, he will be in much better condition to play for the national team than playing there - he knows this.

"He will be with us until the end of the year."