Reports: Barcelona identify Gabriel Jesus as Luis Suarez replacement
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez seems likely to leave the club during the current transfer window.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus has been identified as his replacement by Barcelona.
Barcelona have identified Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus as the replacement for Luis Suarez, according to the Manchester Evening News. Newly appointed Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has reportedly informed Suarez that he is surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old notched up 16 goals and eight assists in just 22 starts in the La Liga last season. The marksman has been linked with a move to former club Ajax and Italian champions Juventus.
Gabriel Jesus to replace Luis Suarez at Barcelona
Brazil international Gabriel Jesus has been an important member of Pep Guardiola’s side during their successful Premier League campaigns in 2017-18 and 2018-19. The 23-year-old scored 23 goals and contributed ten assists for Manchester City in all competitions last season.
However, the striker has had to live in the shadows of the prolific Sergio Aguero during his time in England. With Barcelona looking to start a new era at the club under a new manager, a move could be tempting for the Brazilian.
Ronald Koeman is also likely to give striker Antoine Griezmann an opportunity in the centre-forward role. The World Cup winner was primarily played as a winger last season, which led to just nine goals in 35 appearances in La Liga.
Manchester City are unlikely to let Jesus leave for cheap, but a potential deal will depend on the situation of Lionel Messi. The Barcelona captain is reportedly intent on moving to the Etihad Stadium to reunite with his former coach Pep Guardiola.
It remains unclear whether a fee would be involved in a deal between the two clubs, with La Liga confirming that Messi’s release clause with Barca is still active. The Argentine number 10 has so far refused to participate in pre-season preparations for the Blaugrana.
Pep Guardiola is an admirer of the 23-year-old striker and has been impressed by his progress since moving to Manchester.
“He’s a young player but the way he defends and fights. Of course he has to improve, he knows it, and we have spoken together about what he has to do, but I think every day he is better and better.””What he has shown so far in the period he’s been here, he’s had ups and downs, but with his age and the injuries he’s had, he was excellent.”
Jesus could move to Barcelona summer and it remains to be seen if the Catalan giants test the waters with a bid in the coming weeks.