Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea are eyeing up moves for Hellas Verona's Italian-Brazilian midfielder Jorginho following his positive start to life in Italy's Serie A.
Per the Daily Star's Nick Lustig, Jorginho was a summer transfer target for Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side, but the Reds now face competition from their Premier League rivals for his signature.
According to comments made to Radio Anch'io Lo Sport, Verona manager Andrea Mandorlini expects a battle to retain the player in January (via talkSPORT):
I know, only too well, that it will be hard to keep the likes of Jorginho. But behind them we are already allowing others to grow and mature.
We are making use of those youngsters who are given little space but who will have an important future for this club.
Jorginho's brace at the weekend took his tally to five goals in his side's opening eight games of the season since promotion from Serie B, with Verona flying high in fourth position.
Having already been on the radar of many leading European clubs, Jorginho's impressive form has only served to increase speculation that he will depart the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi stadium in the near future.
Born in Brazil, Jorginho grew up in Europe and has an Italian passport, representing his adopted nation at youth level. As a consequence, work permit issues will not complicate any potential move to the Premier League.
Marco van Ginkel's potentially season-ending cruciate ligament injury, per the Telegraph, makes Chelsea's interest in securing his signature understandable, while Liverpool are no doubt looking to freshen up their midfield options given their over-reliance on Steven Gerrard and Lucas.
Of the trio of clubs, Arsenal are least in need of Jorginho's services at present but may well take the view that they must seize the initiative and build on the club's current momentum with further signings.
The Italian has excellent close control and passing skills that he uses to great effect from his deep-lying midfield role. With slight, technically gifted defensive midfielders ever more popular, it is clear to see what has made Jorginho so popular.
Mandorlini already appears to have given up much hope of retaining the player's services, with Hellas unable to compete with Europe's bigger sides in terms of wages.
With three Premier League clubs reportedly monitoring his progress, Verona could hit the jackpot when Jorginho eventually does move on—although it is unlikely to take too much longer.