When Manchester City dropped their interest in Fred, now of Manchester United, earlier this year, it was because Pep Guardiola had identified Napoli pass-master Jorginho as his preferred midfield target.
To say City missed out on Fred would be inaccurate. However, to say City have missed out on Jorginho, a key summer target, would indeed be accurate.
Chelsea have today announced the signing of Jorginho from Napoli in a deal believed to be worth up to £57million, higher than the figure City were said to have agreed with Napoli.
Jorginho follows coach Maurizio Sarri from Napoli and that leaves City with only one regular ‘number 6′ in 33-year-old Fernandinho, after Yaya Touré left the club upon the expiration of his contract. Ilkay Gündogan has proven quite able in the role, and could be an option if City fail to bring in a new central midfielder.
Mateo Kovacic, typically a more offensively minded midfielder, is one name to have been suggested as a Jorginho alternative, while Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic and Mario Lemina of Southampton are other names in the rumour mill.
Now Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain must decide if to pursue an alternative to Jorginho or stick with what they have.