Manchester City signed one of Brazil’s most highly rated forwards on Wednesday to continue the club’s recruitment drive under new coach Pep Guardiola this offseason.
Gabriel Jesus, who is the top scorer in the Brazilian league with Palmeiras and a member of Brazil’s Olympic team, completed his move to City for a reported 27 million pounds ($36 million). It took City’s offseason spending to more than $130 million, following the arrival of Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
City announced the arrival of the 19-year-old forward on a 4 1/2-year deal starting January 2017. He will remain at Palmeiras until the end of the year so he can finish the Brazilian season with his title-chasing team.
“He is one of the most exciting young prospects in world football and plays the game in a spectacular way,” said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.
Gabriel Jesus, who was named “best newcomer” in the 2015 Serie A Campeonato, is a speedy attacker who can play anywhere across the front line. He has been a constant in Brazil’s youth squads.
“He is formidable,” Brazil Olympic coach Rogerio Micale said. “He is still growing as a player and has some things to improve, but that’s normal. Neymar went through the same process before he was able to achieve everything that he has achieved.”
Gabriel Jesus said he was pleased to sign for “one of the best clubs in the world.”
“We have many great talents in the team,” he said, “and a fantastic manager in Pep Guardiola that I can learn so much from.”
Earlier, Premier League champion Leicester signed Poland winger Bartosz Kapustka, adding more depth to its squad ahead of a first appearance in European competition in 16 years.
The 19-year-old Kapustka, who played at this year’s European Championship, became Leicester’s fifth signing of the offseason. Manager Claudio Ranieri is increasing competition and numbers in his squad, with Leicester also playing in the Champions League this season following its improbable Premier League title triumph.
Leicester said Kapustka has signed from Cracovia on a five-year deal, and didn’t disclose a transfer fee. Goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, defender Luis Hernandez, midfielder Nampalys Mendy and striker Ahmed Musa have also arrived at King Power stadium.
Egypt winger Mohamed Salah completed a permanent transfer from Chelsea to Roma after spending last season on loan at the Italian club. No financial details were disclosed about Salah’s transfer.
Salah joined Chelsea from FC Basel in January 2014 but was never a regular. He spent the second half of the 2014-15 season on loan at Fiorentina and stayed in Italy with Roma, impressing as the capital club finished in third place in Serie A last season.