One of the most wanted prospects in Brazilian football could be on his way to Catalonia.
Barcelona and Palmeiras are closing in on a deal for the transfer of 19-year-old striker Gabriel Jesus, sources told Barça Blaugranes. Brazilian media reported on Wednesday that Palmeiras' sporting director Alexandre Mattos traveled to the Catalan capital to meet with Barça directors Robert Fernández and Raúl Sanhellí to complete the deal, and the two clubs are very close to reaching an agreement.
Gabriel Jesus exploded into the scene in 2015, and after a great first year, he is the current top scorer of the Brasileirão with 10 goals in 14 games, which has earned him a call to represent the Seleção in the Olympics this summer. Primarily a left winger, Jesus started to play more as a striker over the last few months and developed into a great goalscorer, who combines speed and scoring prowess to bag a great number of goals and impress all European giants.
Jesus has already been linked with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester United, and Barça are acting quickly to secure his signing. The player has a €24 million buyout clause, but the Catalans could cut a deal for €18 million along with performance bonuses, sources say.
There is a catch, however. Barça officials aren't completely sold on the player's qualities, especially right now, and want him to develop a little more in Brazil. The plan is to buy Jesus, loan him back to Palmeiras for six or even twelve months, and bring him back in 2017 with more experience to make an immediate impact. The player is on board with the idea, and his latest interviews follow that direction.
Gabriel Jesus is a fantastic prospect, and his hype is justified. If Barça are able to cut a deal, we could be looking at a huge addition to the squad and to Barça's future. Let's wait for the next chapters.