Why would Gabriel Jesus want to leave Manchester City?

David James, a former Manchester City and Liverpool goalkeeper, is baffled as to why Gabriel Jesus is considering a summer move to Arsenal.

As previously reported, the Gunners are interested in two centre-forwards, with football.london understanding Manchester City striker Jesus and Roma attacker Tammy Abraham among the names on the shortlist. Jesus, in particular, has expressed an interest in leaving the current Premier League champions, with his agent apparently holding conversations with Edu in recent months.

Arsenal first inquired about Jesus in November, and Edu maintained a tight relationship with both the player's agent and the City forward himself. Tottenham are rumoured to be interested, but the Gunners are regarded to have the upper hand in that specific battle, despite Spurs qualifying for the Champions League ahead of Mikel Arteta's side.

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Despite City's agreement to sign Erling Haaland, James does not believe departing the Premier League Champions is a wise decision for the Brazilian.

"If you look at the appearances of Man City players this season, Bernardo Silva and Rodri have both played more than 30 Premier League games, while the rest of the attacking line-up has only played around 25 games, so they aren't playing every week," he says "He revealed this to Genting Casino.

"Pep's rotation strategy paid off, as they won the Premier League once more. I suppose Haaland would fit into that mould, though he won't be available for every game. Also, given his ailments, it's unclear whether he'll be physically capable of playing all of the games.

"However, if Jesus stays at Manchester City, he will have a shared role." Because this isn't a situation where you buy a player and use him all the time, there's still place for Jesus, and why would he want to leave? Would he risk everything by transferring to Arsenal, who aren't even in the Champions League, or would he want to stay at Man City and try to win the Holy Grail, which is the Champions League?"

Arsenal icon Paul Merson shares this viewpoint. Speaking before Haaland signed for The Cityzens, the Englishman couldn't get his head around why Jesus would want to leave.

"Gabriel Jesus should stay at Manchester City. There’s speculation about his future and people think he’s unhappy he doesn’t play enough – but he’s started 17 Premier League games this season,’ Merson told the Daily Star. "I think that’s a lot. He’s played 36 times for City this season. And started a lot of big, big games. Where is he going to go where he can do any better than that?

"Even if City sign Erling Haaland, he shouldn’t leave. No way. This is a team that is going to go deep in four competitions every year and he will always get games. Pep Guardiola trusts him. He misses a lot of chances but you can play him anywhere in the forward line and he always keeps trying to get in there. He still has a big role to play this season. I don’t think Haaland would play a huge amount more than that if he goes there."

A player of Jesus' quality and experience would be a major coup for the Gunners as they continue their rebuild at the Emirates. It's now up to Edu and co to negotiate a move.