Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus wants to solely focus on this season amid ongoing speculation surrounding his future and the possible arrival of Erling Haaland.
Jesus’ contract does not expire until June 2023, but there are suggestions he could make Haaland want to sign from Borussia Dortmund.
Premier League champions Pep Guardiola has been linked with a move to Norwegian striker Haaland, with a € 75million release clause reportedly set to take effect at the end of the season.
While the talk continued on the future of Jesus, who is said to be referring to Arsenal, the 25-year-old played on the pitch against Watford, netted four times, and assisted another in a 5-1 victory on Saturday.
That made him the fifth hat-trick scorer in the Premier League, following Afonso Alves, Robinho, Roberto Firmino and Lucas Moura, but he became the first of them to score four times in a single game.
Jesus also became the second City player to score exactly five goals in a single Premier League game, after Sergio Aguero scored five against Newcastle United in October 2015.
However, the former Palmeiras striker has refused to give up his future at City amid questions over whether he will stay and fight for his place in Haaland.
“This is not the time to think about this,” he told reporters. “You expect me to say this, but it is true.
“This is not the time to think about this. Now is the best time of the season. I want to enjoy, stay focused on my team, and my teammates, so that we can fight for the Premier League.
“And I know how that sounds, and I want to have that feeling again. And of course we also have a tough game on Tuesday against Real Madrid [in the Champions League] and that’s what I’m focused on.”
City’s wealth of attack has put them in contention for the Premier League, leading Liverpool by five points with five games to go, and the Champions League, where they will face Madrid in the semi-finals.
But that abundance of creative and goal-scoring talent is often the reason Jesus is on the sidelines, with Guardiola preferring to use the likes of Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne as frontrunners after missing Harry Kane before the 2021-22 season.
Indeed, with the exception of City’s attacking team – which includes Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez – only the Algerian player has played fewer minutes (1,332) in the Premier League than Jesus this season (1,545).
“It’s not just me, it’s [all] players. If you ask, everyone will say ‘I want to play’ and the season I came here I played a lot, I think,” Jesus replied when asked if he would play. like most common opportunities.
“I know what to expect, but I know we have some very good players who can play every game.
“Sometimes it’s not just me, Riyad, sometimes Raz [Sterling], and Grealish come this season and see what it’s like here. We have a lot of good strikers, wingers and forwards.”
After the third player to score four goals in City’s Premier League game – after Edin Dzeko and Aguero, who have done so three times – Jesus will hope to give them another chance to release at home in Madrid on Tuesday.