Arsenal close in on Gabriel Jesus with personal terms ‘effectively done and dusted’

In pictures: Man City v Watford

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Arsenal are reportedly increasingly confident of completing a summer deal for Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus, with a section of negotiations said to be ‘done and dusted’. The Gunners have opened the door for a Premier League stay before another transfer window of change amongst Pep Guardiola’s attacking options.

On Saturday, Jesus showcased a stunning reminder of his quality, netting four goals and assisting the other in Man City’s 5-1 rout against Watford. But he has only started 52 per cent of the Premier League leaders’ 33 games this season amid an already-stacked battle for places.

And Guardiola’s options will only strengthen this summer, with Julian Alvarez arriving from River Plate after Man City struck a deal in January. The Citizens are also understood to be the frontrunners for Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland, available for £64million through his release clause.

Jesus now seems prepared to depart the Etihad Stadium for guaranteed minutes and is edging closer to a switch to Arsenal. According to David Ornstein, speaking on The Athletic Football Podcast, Arsenal technical director Edu has been in talks with Jesus’ representatives for ‘a number of months’.

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Discussions are so advanced that an agreement on personal terms is ‘pretty much done and dusted’, although there hasn’t yet been contact between the two clubs. Mikel Arteta was Guardiola’s assistant before becoming Arsenal manager in December 2019 and will hope his former boss will do him a favour.

Jesus fits ‘the profile of striker’ Arteta wants to recruit, and the Spaniard is said to be eyeing two new forwards ahead of the 2022-23 season. And the report adds that the 25-year-old ‘would be open’ to an Emirates Stadium arrival if Arsenal meet Man City’s transfer fee demands.

Suggestions that Arteta wants to add two forwards to his squad this summer come as no surprise. After sanctioning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s free transfer to Barcelona in January, Arsenal will also lose Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette when their contracts expire in June.

Man City could be open to offloading Jesus, with Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden all capable of filling attacking roles. The additions of Alvarez and Erling Haaland would bolster Guardiola’s squad further and allow City to make a healthy profit on the £27million they paid Palmeiras in 2016.

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