The midfielder chose to stay with mentor Maurizio Sarri when he moved from Napoli three years ago
Chelsea star Jorginho was close to joining Manchester City prior to his move to west London, according to the midfielder’s agent.
Jorginho followed Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to Stamford Bridge in 2018 and has since become a key part of the Blues line-up, helping them to Champions League final victory over City in May.
But if things had turned out differently he might well have lined up against his current team-mates in Porto.
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What was said?
“It was Napoli’s choice,” agent Joao Santos explained to Football Italia. “They were negotiating with Manchester City, but then they began talks with Chelsea, and that’s where we ended up.
“We have nothing against Manchester City. Playing at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola would have been satisfying, but that’s how transfers work.
“Sometimes things can change very quickly. We respect Guardiola, Manchester City and their director Tixi [Begiristain].
Santos added that City boss Pep Guardiola had no say in negotiations, and that it was the opportunity to continue working with Sarri that ultimately swayed his client.
“There was no reason to [convince him],” he explained.
“Jorginho was convinced to join City, but in the end, the situation changed, so we moved to Chelsea, a great club.
“He went there with Maurizio Sarri. He knew it would have been a unique experience in a top club.”
Italy over Brazil
Jorginho also had to make a big decision over his international future, being eligible for both Brazil, his country of birth, and Italy, for whom he eventually opted to play in 2016.
“It’s a dream for us Brazilians to play for the national team. Brazil director Edu Gaspar called us and was very realistic,” his agent revealed.
“He said they had many players, from Casemiro to Fernandinho, so they could not ensure Jorginho would play regularly. They could have called him up once, but they had no certainties about the future. They didn’t know, nothing was sure.
“At that point, Italy called Jorginho too, knowing he had an Italian passport and that he has a special bond with the country. At that time he had played all his entire professional career there, and he was happy to choose Italy. We are still very happy about this choice,” confirms Joao Santos.
“I think it would be different for Brazil now. Now Jorginho is one of the stars in the Champions League and is playing regularly for one of the best national teams in the world.
“At that moment, he was not in the same position. Maybe, today they [Brazil] would make a different choice.”
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