Gabriel Jesus has been put on collision course for a club versus country row after being called up by Brazil.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made it clear that he will not expect Jesus to have to join up with Brazil unless he plays by this weekend. That goes against Brazil boss Fernando Diniz who named Jesus for the forthcoming qualifiers with Colombia and Argentina.
Diniz insisted that he wants to make his own checks on Jesus – who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury – after claiming they decided not to call up Gabriel Martinelli in the last squad only for Arsenal to play him a few days later. Diniz said: “Because of this too, we’re going to bring Gabriel in to find out his real condition, because we still have 15 days to go until the games, so we believe he could be fit enough to play, because I like him a lot.”
But Arsenal have decided not to rush Jesus back from injury as they look to manage his fitness and therefore will not be happy if Brazil insist on him joining up.
Arteta said: “The national teams have a duty to produce a list and sometimes there is uncertainty and the timescale of each player’s availability in the following weeks. I think it’s a great thing that he is getting called up again. It will depend if he’s fir or not if he can travel.”
Jesus has had a frustrating time since last year’s World Cup when he suffered a knee injury and has struggled to put together a run of games since.
Arteta added: “Obviously he’s been out for a while. Since the start of the season in the Premier League I think he’s only had one start. He’s one of our top players and someone who can produce those magic moments when necessary to win consistently. But we have to adapt. We haven’t got him tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah is a doubt for Arsenal against Sevilla while Martin Odegaard will miss out again and is likely to miss Norway’s internationals.
Norway boss Stale Solbakken said: “We are worried about Martin. He is very doubtful. He has an injury that doesn’t seem to let go. We’ll have to see what happens this week. He will be examined even more, then we will see what it brings in terms of matches and playing time.”