International Sport > English Football > CHELSEA CLOSE ON JORGINHO AND SARRI

CHELSEA CLOSE ON JORGINHO AND SARRI

Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Jorginho and appoint Maurizio Sarri as manager after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis apologised to Manchester City for the delay in completing a move for the midfielder.

City had been aiming to complete a £50 million (€56m/$66.3m) deal to sign Jorginho, with De Laurentiis confirming he has accepted an offer from the Premier League champions.

However, City have yet to get the deal over the line and it now appears that Jorginho could instead follow his former Napoli coach Sarri to Chelsea, who are set to pay a combined fee of €58 million (£51.3m/$68m) plus €7m (£6m/$8.2m) in add ons for the pair.

Sarri has been replaced at Napoli by Carlo Ancelotti, but talks are still ongoing over a deal for him to take over from Antonio Conte as manager at Stamford Bridge.

De Laurentiis, though, says that where Jorginho ends up playing next season is a separate matter to Sarri as he waits for the 26-year-old to make a decision on his future.

“I accepted Manchester City’s offer 15 days ago, but I have to apologise to them,” said De Laurentiis at a press conference to present Ancelotti as Napoli’s new coach.

“I can understand if the player would prefer to live in London rather than in Manchester, and if Chelsea pay him more.

“Jorginho to Chelsea is not tied to Sarri.”

Brazil-born Jorginho had been left out of Napoli’s pre-season training camp, while the club have already signed Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz in a reported €30m (£26.5m/$35m) deal from Real Betis to replace him.

Sarri’s future could also be close to a resolution after De Laurentiis acknowledged it is all now hinging on the Italian coach to resolve the situation.

De Laurentiis has been holding out for the £7m release clause in his former coach's contract, with lawyers continuing to work to secure the move that both Chelsea and Sarri want.

But De Laurentiis has suggested that talks are now close to bearing fruit regarding an agreement for Sarri to be appointed by Chelsea.

“His case is at the finish line, it depends on him,” said De Laurentiis of Sarri.

“We’ll see what happens in the next hours. My lawyers have submitted the text to his lawyers.”

Conte has been taking pre-season training while talks continue regarding both his future and that of Sarri, and he put the squad through a double session on Wednesday.

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