Manchester City are delighted to confirm the signing of Gabriel Jesus.
He became the sixth signing of the Pep Guardiola era when he agreed a move in the summer, with City beating off interest from Europe’s biggest clubs to land him.
However, he remained at Palmeiras for the remainder of the Brazilian league season in order to complete his commitments to the side he has played for throughout his professional career.
Having helped them secure the title in November with a game to spare, he will now begin life in Guardiola’s first-team squad.
Jesus said: “I want to win titles and Manchester City is a club that is used to winning.
“City is a Club that always competes for the title in the competitions it enters, so that was an important factor, and because of the manager, Guardiola, and the squad.”
The club’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, believes Jesus is a player with exceptional quality. “Gabriel is a technically gifted player who was chased by some of Europe’s biggest clubs and we are delighted he decided to join City,” he said.
“He has the potential to become one of the best attacking players in the game and we look forward to watching him develop further here in Manchester.
“I think with Pep Guardiola as manager and the squad we already have here, Jesus has the perfect platform to reach his full potential.”
Jesus began his amateur career with Clube Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente aged 8, before moving to Associação Atlética Anhanguera.
In 2013, he joined Palmeiras and went on to break the club’s academy goalscoring record with 54 goals in 48 matches – including 37 in 22 in the Campeonato Paulista, Brazil’s under-17 state championships in 2014.
Calls from the Palmerias supporters to see him promoted to the senior side grew louder.
Known then as Gabriel Fernando, he was given the No. 33 shirt – the age of Christ – and a shrewd Palmerias press officer encouraged him to take the name Gabriel Jesus.
He was handed his senior debut by Oswaldo de Oliveira on 7 March 2015, coming on in the 73rd minute of a 1–0 win over CA Bragantino at Allianz Parque.
His first professional goal soon followed away to Agremiação Sportiva Arapiraquense on 15 July 2015, the winner in a two-legged Copa do Brasil tie.
He was just 18 and gradually being eased into the side by new manager Marcelo Oliveira – but his superb goal against Cruzeiro in the last 16 of the Copa De Brazil, where he put goalkeeper Fabio on the floor at the end of a mazy run before finishing expertly from a tight angle, meant he could no longer be held back.
Palmerias went on to win the competition, Jesus’ first major piece of silverware, beating Santos in the final.
But it was City who landed him in August.
Since agreeing to join Guardiola’s revolution, his career has been on a sharp upward trajectory.
He scored three goals in six games as Brazil’s under-23s won Olympic Gold in Rio, and his form saw him promoted to the senior Brazil squad where he has been given the No. 9 shirt and scored five goals in six matches, including two on his debut against Ecuador.
Brazil have won all six games he’s played and are top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group for Russia 2018.
And then in late November came his career high – a Brazilian league title success. He was Palmerias’ top scorer with 12 goals en route to the title and impressed throughout the campaign.
In total, he scored 28 goals in 85 matches for the Brazilian side.
Jesus will take the number 33 shirt, previously worn by a young Vincent Kompany after his arrival from Hamburg in 2008.
Everyone at Manchester City would like to welcome Gabriel to the club and we all wish him well on his career here.