Barcelona are serious about their interest in Gabriel Jesus, the young Brazilian currently playing for Palmeiras.
Talks regarding a transfer began a few days ago and if everything goes smoothly, the jewell of South American football could end up as a Barça player, although it won’t be easy as the competition is fierce.
After liking what they have seen, the Catalan side have taken steps to make their move for the player in the form of an offer worth 19 million euros, plus another five million euros based on variables.
It’s an offer which clearly shows Barça’s hand and has served to open negotiations, which could progress over the coming days.
Barça have spent many months following some of the brightest young players on the market. The club’s scouts have been watching various players in Brazil and they all agree that Gabriel Jesus is a safe bet.
At 19, the player already stands out and looks like a star. As was the case with Neymar, Barça have moved early and moved well, getting in contact with the teenager’s representatives. It won’t be easy to complete the deal, though.
The reason for that is that Gabriel Jesus, like many Brazilian players, has his rights divided: his agents own 55 per cent, Palmeiras have 30 per cent and the player himself owns 15 per cent.
The Sao Paulo club know they will lose their young star this summer and are trying to get as much money as possible, but the bar for any potential operation has already been set.
Gabriel Jesus has a release clause of 24 million euros for certain European clubs. Barça are among those clubs - as are Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester United - but the clause goes up to 40 million euros after the summer.
That’s why Barça are moving now. The player’s agents know about their interest, but the first offer does not quite reach 24 million euros up front.
The club feel there is still a risk. Gabriel Jesus looks set to be a star, but he’s not yet taken strides forward in Europe and they feel that should lead to a slight reduction in the price.
Therefore, they have included five million euros in variables, dependent on how the player progresses. Talks are open and anything could happen, although sources close to the deal suggest Barça are well placed with both the player and with Palmeiras.
Barcelona’s move to tie down the player is an investment for the future, although coaches at the club are convinced he could offer performances immediately. However, it’s not been ruled out that he could return to Palmeiras on loan for one more year to cut the cost of the deal.
In any case, Barça are fighting for the signature of the player many Brazilians consider one of the successors to Neymar.