• Transfer news

Gabriel Jesus confirms ‘secret agent’ role in signing of Arsenal star

Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal
© Ace Football

The Brazil international opened up on the role he played in luring Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City to Arsenal.

Gabriel Jesus has confirmed his role in convincing fellow former Manchester City player Oleksandr Zinchenko to make the move to Arsenal last year.

Both players left the Etihad for the Emirates, marking a significant shift in their careers. Jesus was the first to sign on July 4, 2022, for €52.2 million. Zinchenko joined him 18 days later in a €35 million deal.

Now Jesus has disclosed the behind-the-scenes story of how he played matchmaker for the Gunners.

“I was in Manchester, at home with my family. I was supposed to come to London the day after and come in by car,” Jesus said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“[Arsenal sporting director] Edu just texted me. He said they were going to Zinny’s house, and if I wanted to come to join them to talk with Zin, then I could come by plane. So I said ‘OK.’ I went there and talked with him. He was surprised.”

What did Jesus say to Zinchenko?

The striker, often hailed for his close-knit relationships with his teammates, described the candid conversation he had with Zinchenko.

“I just said ‘Zina, you have to take a decision like I did and I am happy with this,'” Jesus continued.

“He was a little bit ‘I don’t know, I need to talk with my wife first,’ but he took the decision [to come]. I think if you ask him, it was the right decision.”

When asked about Zinchenko describing him as a ‘secret agent,’ Jesus jokingly responded, “Sure, he can give me a percent [of the money]!”

Both players have since settled seamlessly into Arsenal, becoming key contributors. They’re now preparing to play in their first Champions League game with the Gunners on Wednesday at home to PSV Eindhoven.