Gabriel Jesus has revealed Manchester City have yet to discuss a new contract with either him or his agent, despite reports the Citizens are ready to offer the prolific striker an improved deal.
Jesus was reported as being "set for a significant pay rise after opening negotiations over a new deal just nine months since his £27 million move from Palmeiras," according to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News.
However, the player himself has revealed he has no knowledge of any such new contract. In comments from Press Association Sport (h/t Sky Sports), the attacker said:
"It does not exist. I don't know anything about it. Nothing came to me yet. City did not talk to me about it, neither my agent. So there is nothing in process. My focus is to help Manchester City."
The former Palmeiras star would surely merit better terms as he has made a superb start to his first full season with the Citizens. He has netted five times across all competitions, per WhoScored.com.
In the process, the 20-year-old has formed a lethal partnership with fellow striker Sergio Aguero. Squawka Football outlined how effective this ruthlessly efficient pair have been:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Sergio Agüero & Gabriel Jesus have started 7 games together for Man City: Agüero: 6 ⚽️ 4 🅰️ Jesus: 6 ⚽️ 2 🅰️ Deadly duo. 🇦🇷 🇧🇷 https://t.co/ijp0Y0dvaO2017-9-13 21:52:08
Yet, despite his prolific form, Jesus has been in and out of the City starting XI in recent matches. He didn't feature in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, before being substituted during Tuesday's 2-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.
Speaking after the game, the frontman indicated he accepts the decisions of manager Pep Guardiola regarding playing time, per David Anderson of the Daily Mirror: "I'm OK with that. I accept it. If I'm not playing well and deserve to be on the bench, that's it. And it happens with any player here."
Guardiola has said he faces a tough task keeping all of his gifted forwards involved, including Raheem Sterling, who replaced Jesus 10 minutes into the second half against Shakhtar, per another Manchester Evening News report from Robson: "I have a lot of confidence in five or six players. When playing with Sergio or Gabriel we have a lot of confidence."
Whatever his role at the moment, it's clear Jesus is a key figure for the future of Guardiola's squad. He is making Aguero better and could eventually replace the 29-year-old as the Citizens' leading man.
Jesus signed a five-year contract with City last summer, per Paul Wilson of the Guardian. The Citizens' enviable attacking depth means they can afford to wait and see if he continues his rapid start to life in England's top flight before considering offering the South American ace a new deal.