Since the start of the Summer 2018 Transfer Window, Manchester City have closely monitored the movement of S.S.C. Napoli midfielder Jorginho. The Brazilian-born Italian was first identified as a target for the Blues in April 2018, where manager Pep Guardiola praised the Napoli player, and City have prioritized the midfielder as their first potential signing of this transfer window.
Whilst City sought an agreement with Napoli before the start of the FIFA 2018 World Cup, the negotiations have lasted much longer than the Catalonian anticipated.
There are several reasons for the delays. First, the future of former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri remains uncertain. Following his sacking at Napoli and the hiring of Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement, rumors emerged that London-based Chelsea would hire the Italian as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte. Should this occur, it is likely Sarri would seek to bring some of Napoli’s players to England, and Jorginho is an anticipated target.
Second, Napoli and Manchester City seem to have reached a stand-still on a transfer fee. The Mancunian club originally placed a £39m bid, which was swiftly rejected by the Italian club. City then proposed a transfer fee of £42m, and though Napoli agreed in principle, the clubs have yet to reach an official arrangement.
Finally, knowing City are seeking a long term replacement for defensive midfielder Fernandinho, the Italian club is determined to earn as much money as possible from the deal. This has displeased the City board.
Napoli’s antics have left Guardiola impatient. Whilst Napoli continue to delay the deal, the Catalonian publicly announced he is scouting other players, which include Southampton’s Mario Lemina and Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovačić. Both midfielders are 24 years-of-age, and should the Catalonian seek either of these alternatives, it is likely he would receive a greater rate of return.
The delays have caused concerns for Jorginho. Whilst recent reports stated the midfielder and Manchester City agreed upon a five-year deal, Napoli have still not agreed on a transfer fee. This has left Jorginho worried, as the midfielder is aware that City are seeking alternative players.
The Brazilian-born Italian has claimed he is desperate to move to Manchester, where he views playing under Guardiola as an “opportunity of a lifetime.” Should the deal collapse, it is likely Jorginho will be devastated. Hence, what is to come?
Overall, it appears Napoli are attempting to take advantage of City, where the Italians again rejected City’s bid. Recent reports claimed the Italians are seeking to offload Jorginho to City for a transfer around £50m with add-ons, and whilst reports in Italy are claiming an agreement was reached, this has upset Guardiola and his team.
The changes in the deal for Jorginho have annoyed the City board, where they believe the Italians are prolonging the deal without cause. Based on the constant delays, should Napoli continue to hold out it is likely City will divert their attention toward their other targets. In this case, a transfer for Lemina or Kovačić would be significantly cheaper than acquiring Jorginho.
Therefore, Manchester City must answer an important question. Do they continue to wait for Jorginho, knowing Napoli are overselling their midfielder? Or do the Blues divert their attention toward Lemina or Kovačić?
As the number of days in the Summer 2018 Transfer Window continue to dwindle, the Blues will need to make a decision. Otherwise, should the Jorginho deal collapse, this will be viewed as time lost during the transfer window. The future of Jorginho lies in their hands.