Manchester City are prepared to switch their top midfield target unless Napoli lower their asking price for Jorginho, sources have told ESPN FC.
City have scouted three potential signings for the holding midfield role with Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic and Southampton’s Mario Lemina seen as potential alternatives.
Pep Guardiola wants to bring in two new signings this summer and identified Italy international Jorginho, 26, as a replacement for Yaya Toure, who left at the end of the season.
Sources have told ESPN FC that City have had one bid rejected by the Serie A side with president Aurelio De Laurentiis holding out for around £60 million.
Discussions between the two clubs are continuing and Jorginho is believed to be keen for the move to happen with his agent in England ready to open talks over his contract if an agreement can be reached.
City walked away from deals for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in January, with both players now joining Manchester United.
They also decided against a move for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez in January, although a deal for the Algerian winger could be resurrected this summer.
And they are ready to switch focus again unless Napoli change their demands.
Croatia midfielder Kovacic, 24, has hinted he could leave Madrid in search of more regular game time, telling reporters: “I believe I’ll play more, whether in Real or somewhere else.”
Gabon international Lemina, 24, impressed in his first season at Southampton following a move from Juventus, despite his team’s battle against relegation.
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.