Arsenal have verbally agreed a deal to sign Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Brazil international has been at the top of the Gunners’ list to replace the departed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the former of whom Arsenal failed to replace in January.
Eddie Nketiah has committed himself to a new five-year contract after ending the 2021-22 season strongly, but Arsenal have always been expected to sign a big name in the final third this summer.
Jesus only has another 12 months left to run on his Etihad contract, but Man City have been driving a hard bargain for his signature and are believed to be holding out for a £50m fee.
However, speaking to the Football Terrace, Jacobs believes that a verbal agreement is in place between the two clubs, and Jesus could be an Arsenal player by the end of the month.
Arsenal ‘verbally agree deal for Gabriel Jesus’
“With Jesus, Arsenal remain the frontrunners and I think that signing is very likely,” Jacobs explained.
“Jesus, as I understand it from sources close to the player, is very much sold under the Arteta and Arsenal strategy, and by strategy I mean they’ve sold that move to him based upon a focal point in the team and that is in stark contrast to Manchester City, where he was rotated and his game time was limited.
“So that’s the selling point that Arsenal will give him regular game time. He’ll be the first name on the team sheet and the terms will probably see him earn around £220,000 a week.
“But the talks are advanced and I believe verbally that Arsenal and Manchester City have now agreed upon a fee. City originally priced Jesus at £55m, Arsenal tried to make a comparison with Sadio Mane and pitched an offer informally of closer to £35m and Manchester City were having none of that and they’re highly likely, as reported weeks ago, to compromise somewhere in the middle.
“Manchester City essentially want £45m as a base fee, maybe a little bit extra if you count the add-ons that are likely to be guaranteed.
“I don’t think Arsenal have now got any problem negotiating a fee with Manchester City and I don’t think they’ve got too much of an issue finalising the bits and bobs in terms of the package with Jesus, talks are ongoing in that respect, it’s a big week as far as negotiations are concerned and Arsenal have no reason to believe they won’t get the deal done.
“I think that deal of Jesus to Arsenal is now highly, highly likely and will probably be completed over the next seven to ten days.”
Tottenham Hotspur have been tipped to rival Arsenal for Jesus’s signature, but the 25-year-old would struggle to earn regular starts over the likes of Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski.
Jesus is seemingly set to leave Man City after scoring 95 goals and providing 46 assists in 236 games for the club, including 13 strikes and 12 assists from 41 outings last season.
The former Palmeiras starlet has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four EFL Cups during his time under Pep Guardiola and could become Arsenal’s third confirmed signing of the summer window after Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos.
The North London club may announce Matt Turner’s arrival from New England Revolution before Jesus’s unveiling, though, and an opening bid for Leeds United’s Raphinha has reportedly been turned down by the Whites.