Fabrizio Romano reports that before Gabriel Jesus agreed to join Arsenal on June 26th (a deal which was announced over a week later on July 4th), three clubs tried to hijack the transfer.
Jesus wasn’t interested in the alternatives, prioritising a move to Arsenal. He’s now signed a five-year deal with the club.
Romano didn’t name the other clubs that were interested in Jesus, but various reports have suggested Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Spurs were after the signing.
David Ornstein had reported in late June that Chelsea remained interested in Jesus, and that Arsenal might miss out on the striker if they didn’t move quickly.
Reports in Spain linked Real Madrid with an attempt to sign Jesus, whilst The Telegraph reported that Spurs still retained an interest in Jesus as recently as three weeks ago, not long before he joined Arsenal.
Arsenal obviously had some advantages in the race. They have Mikel Arteta, who previously coached Jesus at Manchester City.
They have a Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking contingent of players, and a Brazilian technical director in Edu Gaspar.
The Gunners plan to give Jesus starts in his favoured position at centre-forward, and they have prestige in the young striker’s eyes from watching Thierry Henry growing up.
In the end, that was all enough to give them the edge, even up against three clubs in next season’s Champions League.