Napoli President Discusses Status of Jorginho, Maurizio Sarri Deals with Chelsea

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

Napoli's midfielder from Brazil Jorginho (R) and Napoli's coach from Italy Maurizio Sarri attend a press conference on the eve of the Champion's League football match Napoli vs Feyenoord on September 25, 2017 in Naples.  / AFP PHOTO / Carlo Hermann        (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said coach Maurizio Sarri and midfielder Jorginho are both poised to join Chelsea soon.

The Serie A side have appointed Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager, and while Sarri is still on their books, he has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge to replace Antonio Conte. Jorginho has also been tipped to make a switch to either Manchester City or the Blues.

According to De Laurentiis, the Premier League side are poised to land both their managerial and midfield targets, per Football Italia.

"The Sarri affair is in the home stretch, it depends on him," he said. "I've laid down my conditions. It's all in the hands of lawyers. Jorginho? We said to ourselves, 'if Jorginho has any requests, we'll take them into account.' For that, I'll have to apologise to Manchester City. However, if the player would rather live in London than Manchester, I can understand that."

NAPLES, ITALY - AUGUST 01:  Aurelio De Laurentiis the President of SSC Napoli looks on prior to during the pre-season friendly match between SSC Napoli and OGC Nice at Stadio San Paolo on August 1, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Gett
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

De Laurentiis went on to add that "Jorginho would go to Chelsea regardless of Sarri." Journalist Claudio Russo noted the Italy international has been spotted at an airport in London:

Claudio Russo @claudioruss

Jorginho in aeroporto a Napoli Capodichino, direzione Londra. Video @CalcioNapoli24 https://t.co/07M7VxJYda

Seeing Jorginho joining Chelsea would be a surprise, as City appeared to be leading the chase for the player for a long spell. Earlier in July, it was reported by Jamie Jackson of the Guardian that the Premier League champions were close to agreeing a £43 million deal.

However, he now appears to be on his way to Stamford Bridge along with Sarri, and according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the pair will join as part of a package from the Serie A outfit:

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

And so here we go... Sarri is ready to join Chelsea as new manager on next hours! Jorginho will be in the deal and will prefer Chelsea ahead of Man City. 🔵✔️ 💰€65M (add ons included, €57M for Jorginho + €8M for Sarri) from Chelsea to Napoli! #CFC #Chelsea #transfers ✅

Per Liam Twomey of ESPN FC, this type of switch seems to suit both sides at the end of what has become a saga:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

Chelsea splashing out on Jorginho allows them to get Sarri without 'losing the deal' to De Laurentiis, which has looked inevitable since May #cfc

The arrival of the pair will not only spell the end of Conte's two-year stint in charge of the Blues, in which he won the Premier League and the FA Cup, but it also points to a significant shift in the style of football that will be played.

Last season in Italy, Sarri's Napoli outfit were thrilling to watch, as they ran Juventus so close in the battle for the Serie A title. The Partenopei played some exceptional passing football, with front three of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon running riot.

Arguably the key player in the setup was Jorginho, though, as his cerebral and technical abilities breathed life in Sarri's blueprint.

David Amoyal outlined just how important the midfielder is to Napoli:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Very fitting that Guardiola, who has never been shy about expressing his admiration for way Sarri’s team play, would sign Jorginho- the metronome of SarriBall at Napoli

Jorginho's game is centred around getting on the ball as often as possible and using it effectively:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Jorginho played more passes in the league in 2017/18 than another player in Europe's top five divisions. • 3,197 attempted • 2,860 completed He averaged a pass once every 50 seconds. 🕰 https://t.co/8BJMYM4pRE

Given the new Premier League season is now less than a month away, Sarri will be in a race against time to put his intricate ideas across and get the players attuned to them. Having Jorginho around, who knows the tactics of the manager and is important to the system flourishing, will be a catalyst for that process.

Still, given the figures involved, there will be plenty of pressure for both player and coach to hit the ground running. For two men that have never worked in English football before, that will be a big challenge.