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From Naples: Manchester City and Napoli officially begin negotiations for Jorginho

Manchester City and Napoli have officially entered talks over a deal for the Premier League champions to sign Jorginho this summer, Naples-based newspaper Corriere del Mezziogiorno reports today.

By now, it’s no secret that the 26-year-old Italy international is Pep Guardiola’s number one target for the midfield, and his agent has made it clear he’s up for the move, but the most difficult hurdle was always going to be a fee.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is a notoriously difficult man to deal with in the transfer market and wants to extract top dollar for his stars, with the Italian film producer demanding €70million (£61.2million) for the midfielder.

City want to pay no more than €50million (£43.7million), which itself would be the highest amount ever paid for a midfielder of his profile, and so there is a considerable difference of €20million between the two clubs.

Napoli are making preparations for the loss of their technically gifted pass-master to Man City by identifying Sampdoria’s Lucas Torreira, another elegant central midfielder, as Jorginho’s replacement.

Negotiations are expected to continue with City hopeful of getting a deal for Jorginho, Yaya Touré’s replacement and a long-term heir for Fernandinho, over the line.

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