Chelsea have completed the signing of Jorginho, beating Manchester City to the signature of the former Napoli midfielder.
Jorginho, 26, joins manager Maurizio Sarri from Italy in a five-year deal worth around €60 million, becoming their first signing of a summer in which prolonged uncertainty around their coaching situation froze transfer activity at Stamford Bridge.
Pep Guardiola had identified Jorginho, who was born in Brazil, as his top target for the holding midfield role after Yaya Toure’s contract ran out, but Chelsea beat City to the punch after appointing Sarri.
“I am absolutely ecstatic to be here at Chelsea,” Jorginho said in a statement. “It is not easy to become part of such a big team so I am very, very happy. I am excited to play in such an intense league, for a team that gives everything to play and win.”
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Agreeing to beat City’s offer for Jorginho was key to Chelsea convincing Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis to release Sarri, and acquiring a player wanted by the Premier League champions will be considered a coup by Chelsea after a season in which they finished outside the top four.
“We are delighted Jorginho has chosen to join Chelsea,” club director Marina Granovskaia said in the statement. “He was one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe and will become an important member of the playing squad. He has demonstrated his quality working under Maurizio Sarri and we are convinced his signing will help bring further success to Stamford Bridge.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 14, 2018
Jorginho played an influential role as Napoli nearly denied Juventus their seventh successive Serie A title. He also featured twice in the Champions League group games against City.
Negotiations over the details of the deal with City had dragged on since the end of the summer, but Jorginho chose to snub a transfer to the Etihad Stadium in favour of moving to London once Chelsea made their interest clear.