Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Track Jorginho in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2017

NAPLES, ITALY - DECEMBER 19:  Jorginho of SSC Napoli in action during the TIM Cup match between SSC Napoli and Udinese Calcio at Stadio San Paolo on December 19, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Napoli midfielder Jorginho as they seek to find a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick.

According to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils want to add more depth to their midfield options. Carrick, as Luckhurst ntoed, has not played since September following a heart procedure.

Jorginho is consequently said to be on the club's radar and, according to Luckhurst, "is viewed as a more mobile holding option than the 29-year-old [Nemanja] Matic and a specialist in the role as opposed to [Ander] Herrera, who was converted to a more defensive-minded midfielder by [Jose] Mourinho last season."

Jorginho has been exceptional for Napoli over the past couple of seasons. Football writer Adam Digby evidently rates him highly:

As Luckhurst reported, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed the Italy international as "wonderful" after his side's recent meetings with the Partenopei.

Few who watch Serie A regularly would disagree with that assessment, as the 26-year-old has been important to the way in which Maurizio Sarri's team operates. Jorginho pulls the strings in the middle of the pitch, knitting together patterns of play magnificently.

As these numbers from OptaPaolo earlier in the campaign illustrate, Jorginho is always seeking to get on the ball:

With Marek Hamsik and Allan flanking him in midfield and the trio of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon ahead of him, there are plenty of options for him to pick out; their excellent movement is enhanced by the quality of Jorginho's distribution.

That job is not too dissimilar to the one Carrick has done for United for many years. The veteran was renowned for dropping deep, taking the ball off his centre-backs or goalkeeper and making the Red Devils tick.

Carrick has been absent for the majority of the campaign.
Carrick has been absent for the majority of the campaign.Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Now 36, Carrick is in the twilight of his career. And while he did show at times last term he still has something to offer, United evidently need to consider a replacement.

Football writer Liam Canning doesn't believe the Red Devils have enough options in central midfield regardless:

It would be intriguing to see Jorginho in a side managed by Mourinho. While coaches such as Sarri and Guardiola set their teams up to dominate possession, the United manager isn't a purveyor of that style.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) and Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (R) gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

As we have seen throughout his career, Jorginho blossoms in a possession-focused setup. Off the ball, he is disciplined and industrious, although there are better fits for blueprints that revolve around sitting deep and countering.

Still, Jorginho has become important to Napoli in unpicking the vast array of deep-sitting sides they come up against in Serie A. There's no doubt he would add some guile and composure to complement Matic and Paul Pogba.

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