New Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus has said he is totally focused on playing with the Selecao and Palmeiras and is not giving any thought to his move to the Premier League in December.
The 19-year-old signed a five-year deal for a reported £27 million but will remain on loan at the Brazilian club until the conclusion of the Brazil league championship in December.
Gabriel Jesus won a penalty and notched a late brace on his full international debut last week as Brazil beat Ecuador, 3-0, in World Cup qualifying last week. They face Colombia on Tuesday in Manaus.
“Right now I am with the Selecao and I am keeping my focus here,” said the Palmeiras starlet, who helped Brazil to Olympic gold last month.
“Right now I don’t want any contact with Manchester [City]. I am really happy being where I am right now, concentrated and focused on the national team. My head is clear and that is the way it is going to always be.”
Palmeiras will likely be without their forward for Wednesday’s match against arch-rival Sao Paulo and Palmeiras coach Cuca said he can’t factor the star into his squad given the circumstances.
“It’s very complicated to talk about it because we would have to know how much time he is going to play [with the national team] and how he is going to feel,” Cuca said. “I can’t get ahead of myself here. I am going to train the squad as though we will play without him.”
Gabriel Jesus said his performance with Brazil has been well received by everyone — except his mother, Vera.
“After the game, I looked at my cell phone and the first thing I see is a message from her, telling me to make sure I don’t get hurt [after falling in a clash with Ecuador goalkeeper Alejandro Dominguez],” he said. “Instead of congratulating me, she talks about me ending up in the hospital. She is always criticising and never praising.
“Even though I am only 19, I have had a lot of responsibility at an early age. My family helps me a lot and my mum is always picking on me. I have grown used to saying that she is the worst defender I have had to face, but I know she says all that stuff for my own good. I am a regular kid, I like the simple things and I always want to improve.”
Tite’s side are currently in fourth in the CONMEBOL qualifying standings with 12 points, behind Argentina who have 14 and Uruguay, Colombia and Ecuador, all of whom have 13. Four CONMEBOL teams qualify outright for the World Cup with a fifth heading to a playoff against the Oceania winner.
Manchester City are off to a strong start, having won their first three Premier League games under new manager Pep Guardiola.