Ze Roberto has advised his Palmeiras teammate Gabriel Jesus to shun approaches from Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus to join Real Madrid instead. The veteran midfielder also believes the 19-year-old is ready to move to Europe, despite the youngster recently saying he felt it was too soon in his career to leave Brazil.
Ze Roberto made the move from Brazil to the Santiago Bernabeu himself while still a youngster. He struggled to make any significant impact with Real Madrid, but improved to make a name for himself in Europe with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg and, most notably, Bayern Munich.
Gabriel Jesus is one of the hottest properties of the current transfer window, having attracted the attention of a number of Europe's elite sides.
Barcelona were the first team reported to be attracted by the player's meteoric rise, but in recent weeks names like Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich were understood to have joined the race for his signature.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu openly expressed admiration for the player, but Marca subsequently revealed Real Madrid were ready to meet his €24m (£20.4m, $26.6m) release clause and bring him to Los Blancos.
The forward has since attempted to curb speculation, claiming European teams will need to wait for his recruitment as he has decided to stay for a further season with Palmeiras.
However, Ze Roberto has encouraged his teammate to rethink his plans and move to Real Madrid during the current mercato.
"I think he is ready to make the move to Europe," Ze Roberto said to AS. "Despite his tender age, moving to Europe would be key for him continuing his development. Of course he would need a period of adaptation but it is important for him to move to a club with top talents who can help him progress."
"A few months ago someone from Bayern Munich got in touch with me to talk about him. They wanted to know how he is off the pitch. I know there is interest from Bayern, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. It is difficult to make a decision because they are all giants, but I think Real Madrid would be the best option for him. To work with Zinedine Zidane and train alongside stars such as [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Gareth] Bale and [Karim] Benzema. He would be able to learn from three of the best. That is why I think Madrid would be ideal for him."
Ze Roberto also revealed he feels Palmeiras will not let the young jewel leave for anything under his full release clause.
"A transfer at the moment seems difficult, though. Palmeiras do not have to sell. I can only see him leaving if someone pays his buy-out clause."
Despite any problems with his transfer, Ze Roberto believes Gabriel Jesus will be playing in Europe soon, calling him the best young prospect to arrive from Brazilian football's youth ranks since Neymar.
"I have nothing but good things to say about Gabriel Jesus. He's the best player I've seen come through the ranks in Brazil since I returned from Germany in 2006. And I've seen a lot of players come through. But Gabriel Jesus is different. He has some spectacular talents," Ze Roberto said.
"He is not better than Neymar, though. Neymar is from another planet. I have never seen anyone like him. Neymar is an extra-terrestrial. When I was at Santos, the senior players showed up early just to see him play in one of the youth teams. But after him, Gabriel Jesus is the best young Brazilian player I've seen over the past 10 years. He is a modern player. He has power, pace, technique and is explosive. It is hard to compare him to anyone, because he is unique. He can play anywhere in attack."