Palmeiras manager Cuca has urged Gabriel Jesus to snub a move to Barcelona and continue his development in Brazilian football. T the boss believes that the 19-year-old starlet would struggle to secure regular time along Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, and should be aiming for regular playing tune.
Sport broke a story earlier this month that Barcelona were closely monitoring the player after he garnered a reputation in Brazil. News about a potential move to the Nou Camp increased after the Spanish publication reported that Barcelona had launched a first bid worth $19m (£12.9m) plus $5m in add-ons to recruit the youngster.
Sport later claimed that the owners of Gabriel Jesus' rights – he belongs to different parties – turned down the bid as they wanted the Catalans to match his £16.3m release clause in full.
Journalist Duncan Castle put the move into further relief, reporting in One World Sport that Manchester City were ready to battle Barca for the player's services.
Gabriel Jesus later told Sport that "going to Barça would be a dream" and the Catalans look ready to make every effort to fulfil the player's wishes.
Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi was spotted by the Spanish media in attendance at Palmeiras' 2-0 win over America on Tuesday (22 June), where Gabriel Jesus scored two goals in the space of 12 minutes in an impressive performance.
Cuca revealed that it was not the first time Barcelona scouts have seen his prospect in action, but urged the player to wait at least one more season for his 'dream'.
"I know they [Barcelona] watched him in the game against America, but this is not new. They have already been to other games and I can say that the boy is not affected by these things because his performance has always been very good," Cuca said, as quoted by Sport.
"It looks that it he doesn't go to Barcelona he could go to any other club but I think that at Palmeiras he will have many more opportunities to play and become a major player for the Brazilian national team. If I were Gabriel Jesus' father I would not let him leave now because right now it is unlikely he will play at Barcelona. He has his place here, he is a starter and is thriving."