European champions Real Madrid have reportedly stolen a march on Barcelona and Manchester United and are close to signing the highly rated young Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus in coming weeks.
The 19-year-old has a €24m release clause (a very strange one indeed) that is applicable only to four European clubs – Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Put it simply, these four clubs can only sign him for €24m as per his contract.
Of the four clubs, Barcelona were thought to be leading the race for Gabriel’s signing until last week. Talks were being held between the two clubs in Brazil but the situation has changed dramatically in the last few days with Real Madrid out of nowhere arriving at the scene to spoil Barca’s party. In fact, Los Blancos are now emerging as top favourites to sign Gabriel from Palmeiras.
According to Brazilian newspaper Globoesporte, relayed by AS, Alexandre Mattos, the Palmeiras president is currently in Spain to hold talks with Real Madrid, although the details of date and time of the meeting are not mentioned in the report.
Jesus wants to stay in Brazil and end the season on a high with Palmeiras. He not only has a great chance of winning the title but could become the youngest ever player in the history of Brasileiro to top the scoring charts. He has scored 10 goals in 14 games already and he is looking forward to playing the next edition of Libertadores with Palmeiras.
Madrid are looking to sign him now and send him on loan to the Brazilian club. However, the third party system in Brazilian football makes the deal more complicated. Palmeiras only have 30% of the player’s economic rights while 55% of it are controlled by the player’s agents. In order to close the deal, Madrid will have to pay around €10m more.
Manchester United have been frequently linked with the player but their interest in him probably has died down with the club currently shifting their attention towards securing big money moves for Paul Pogba and James Rodriguez.