Liverpool will not be signing their rumoured first choice midfield target this summer, as Jorginho appears set to head to Manchester City if—or, perhaps, simply when—they agree a fee with Napoli. As a result, the Reds will have to look elsewhere to strengthen at the base of midfield this summer.
“Jorginho is still under contract but if Napoli can reach an agreement with City he goes to Manchester,” Jorginho’s agent, Joao Santos, told Calcio Napoli 24. “Reaching an agreement with the English shouldn’t be a problem, but it depends on Napoli as the player is tied to the Azzurri for two more years.
“City are champions of England and among Europe’s top clubs. Now we must stay calm. If Napoli and City can find a solution we can talk about it, otherwise the player will be happy to stay at Napoli. I hope to hear from [Napoli’s] director, and maybe he’ll be in Naples in the next few days to talk about Jorginho.”
Jorginho’s agent later walked back his statement slightly, claiming there had been interest from multiple English sides—including Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal—and that it wasn’t a sure thing a deal with City would be done, but it appears as though if City match Napoli’s price that’s where he’ll go.
And, realistically, if City want him it’s difficult to imagine they won’t match it. All of which helps to make sense of a number of rumours over the past month linking Liverpool with apparent Jorginho alternatives, including Wolves’ Ruben Neves, Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi, and Napoli’s Amadou Diawara.
All three are talented and could, just maybe, develop into players as good as or even better than Jorginho. All are also five to six years younger and not yet the finished product—while Jorginho would likely walk into Liverpool’s best eleven, the rumoured alternatives would arrive to compete for playing time.