The 24-year-old has failed to tie down a place in Pep Guardiola’s strongest XI this season, after a miserable run of games without scoring earlier in the campaign convinced the Spaniard to play a false nine system.
The City boss hinted in his pre-match interview ahead of Friday’s trip to Newcastle that decisions would be made over the future of his stars this summer, amid reports that the newly-crowned champions are in the hunt for Borussia Dortmund‘s Erling Haaland.
Joleon Lescott has expressed concern for Gabriel Jesus’ Manchester City future this summer
The Brazilian, 24, has failed to nail down a spot in the newly-crowned champions’ strongest XI
‘We prepare for the last games of the season, and after we are going to decide next season which guys are going to follow and which guys are going to leave to go to another place,’ he said.
And Sky Sports duo Lescott and Cole have expressed concern for the striker, who starts at St James’ Park.
‘I don’t think he has cemented himself as the bona fide striker for next season,’ former City defender Lescott said.
‘If he was more dominant in front of goal and more prolific I don’t think we’d be talking about city playing a false nine.
Pep Guardiola hinted that the futures of his stars will be decided before the end of the season
And Lescott questioned whether Jesus would be happy as the No 2 striker next season
‘If they do get someone in as the recognised striker where does that leave him in terms of his mentality, does he want to play no 2 to someone potentially younger than him?’
Cole, who enjoyed a hugely successful career at Manchester United and Newcastle, believes that Jesus is reaching a critical point in his career where he needs to make an impact.
Asked if he would be happy as a second-choice striker, Cole said: ‘At 24? Me being me, no. At 24 he should now be looking to be the main striker.
City have been linked with a mega-money move for Borussia Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland
‘He has had the opportunity to watch Aguero for a few years now, and if you can’t learn off someone like Aguero you are never going to learn.
‘At the age he is at now he’s got to be saying to himself next season “I am the No 1 striker.” Definitely.’
Jesus has scored 13 goals in 38 games for the newly-crowned champions this season, having made 27 starts for Guardiola’s side.