Inter Milan’s sporting director has revealed Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus rejected the Serie A club because he wanted to play under Pep Guardiola.
Jesus, 21, signed for City from Brazilian club Palmeiras in January 2017 for a fee of £27m and is now a valued member of Guardiola’s squad.
Was Gabriel Jesus right to choose Man City? Four things to know…
- Jesus has made 80 appearances for Man City.
- During his time with the club, he has won the Premier League title, the EFL cup and the FA Community Shield.
- Guardiola has heaped praise on Jesus on numerous occasions, once explaining how “his desire is contagious”.
- Jesus has scored more goals (7) in 2019 than any Premier League side except Man City, Arsenal and Spurs across all competitions.
Jesus scored five goals across six Brazil caps before leaving Palmeiras for Europe, sparking a transfer battle involving City and Inter.
“We were negotiating with Gabriel Jesus for a month,” Ausilio, the Inter sporting director, told Sky Sports Italia.
“Our offer was also better than Manchester City’s. Palmeiras preferred to sell him to us but the lad, through his agents, let us know that he preferred to play for Guardiola.”
Jesus struggled at the World Cup in Russia, where he failed to score a single goal for Brazil. He carried that summer form over to the beginning of the current campaign, in which he found the net only once in his first 13 top-flight appearances.
However, he has rediscovered form and has more goals across all competitions than any other striker in English football during 2019. Across three games – a fixture in each of the FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League – Jesus has found the back of the net seven times.
Inter’s biggest transfer regret revealed
On the subject of Inter’s biggest transfer regret, Ausilio explained why the 18-time Serie A winners had extra incentive to root for Real Madrid during their 2016 European Cup final against Atletico Madrid.
The 46-year-old added: “Unlike Coutinho, [Mateo] Kovacic was sacrificed for financial reasons as we were in a difficult situation at the time, but we sold him for a good price.
“The figure? A tad less than €40m. There were a series of bonuses that Inter then collected, given Real Madrid won everything in his first season there.
“During the 2016 Champions League final in Milan, we were all rooting for Real. We were Blancos fans for a night.”
Inter are currently third in the Serie A table and next play Sassuolo on 19 January.