Chelsea show ‘strong interest’ in top Arsenal target as Todd Boehly ‘prepares formal proposal’

Date published: Tuesday 7th June 2022 10:46 - Will Ford

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is reportedly ‘preparing a formal proposal’ for Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus, with the west London club showing ‘strong interest’ in the Arsenal target.

It’s thought Pep Guardiola is willing to let the Brazilian striker leave City this summer having secured the signing of Erling Haaland to bolster his forward options.

READ MORE: Could Chelsea crowbar consistency from the promise of Ousmane Dembele?

Arsenal have been linked for some time with Mikel Arteta keen on reuniting with Jesus having worked with him as assistant coach at City, while Real Madrid have been added to the mix in recent days.

And now, AS (via the Daily Mail) claim Chelsea are showing ‘strong interest’, with Boehly prepared to sanction a bid for the 25-year-old when the transfer window opens.

Jesus – who notched 13 goals and 12 assists for City last term – has one year left to run on his current deal at the Etihad and is said to have been offered to both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as City look to do business with clubs not in direct competition with them in the Premier League.

But that doesn’t appear to have put off Arsenal, with a report on Monday claiming they are ‘increasingly confident of making the forward their marquee summer signing’.

Or indeed Chelsea, who – unlike Arsenal – will be able to offer Jesus Champions League football next season.

Arsenal are rumoured to be willing to double the striker’s salary at City to £200,000-a-week, a figure that Chelsea should be able to match despite possibly having to pay the same amount to see Romelu Lukaku score goals for Inter Milan.

But David James has urged Jesus to stay at Manchester City and play a “shared role” alongside Haaland.

“If you look at Man City players’ appearances this season, Bernardo Silva and Rodri have played 30-plus Premier League games,” James told Genting Casino (via Metro).

“But all the players in that attacking line-up have played around 25 games, so they’re not playing every week. Pep’s (Guardiola) rotation has worked perfectly in the sense that they won the Premier League again.

“I’d imagine Haaland would fit into that mould, he’s not going to play every game. Also with his injuries, there are question marks over whether he is physically capable of playing all the games.

“Jesus will have a shared role if he stays at Man City. They aren’t going to buy Haaland and start him every game, so there is still room for Jesus.

“Why would he want to leave? You’ve at the best team in England over the past five years, so would he risk it by moving somewhere else to Arsenal, who aren’t even in the Champions League?

“Or would he rather stay at Man City and try to get the Holy Grail, which is the Champions League?”

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