Arsenal stance on Gabriel Jesus transfer if they miss out on Champions League


Arsenal were dealt a potential blow to their summer transfer hopes on Monday as a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United put them on the brink of missing out on Champions League football for a sixth successive season. Barring a shock result when Tottenham Hotspur visit Norwich City on Sunday, Mikel Arteta’s side will play in the Europa League next term.

However, the Gunners’ continued absence from Europe’s elite competition isn’t expected to impact their summer spending. According to the Telegraph, Arsenal will invest heavily in Arteta’s playing squad once again after splashing the Premier League’s highest expenditure last summer, and a striker is a priority.

And despite the club’s likely absence from the Champions League, Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus remains among Arteta and technical director Edu’s top targets. Jesus’ agent has claimed six other clubs are courting his client, but admitted he ‘likes the project’ at the Emirates Stadium.

The report adds that Arsenal will aim to sign more than one centre-forward ahead of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s likely exits when their contracts expire in June. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, AS Roma’s Tammy Abraham, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele and Lille’s Jonathan David are all understood to be on the Gunners’ radar.

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But Jesus appears to be among Arteta’s preferred candidates for attacking reinforcements, regardless of whether Arsenal qualify for the Champions League or not. With that said, though, the 25-year-old Brazilian forward’s preference could be altered following Monday’s dismal display at St. James’ Park.

Tottenham only need to draw against rock-bottom Norwich on the final day to secure their return among Europe’s elite. And if Arsenal are absent from the Champions League, Jesus will undoubtedly have more enticing options for his next move if he opts to leave Man City at the end of the season.

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Erling Haaland’s blockbuster summer arrival will make minutes even harder to come by next season for Jesus, who is regularly rotated among Pep Guardiola’s wealth of attacking options. He has registered 13 goals and 11 assists in 40 appearances in all competitions this term and could want to join a club where he’d be a regular starter.

Jesus’ versatility across the front line makes him even more of an asset; he’s capable of playing as the central striker and on either wing, especially on the right. And it’d be a significant coup if Arsenal could lure him to north London without Champions League football on offer for a sixth successive season.

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