The Ballon d’Or nominee has admitted that he was in talks to join Manchester City before Chelsea swooped for him in 2018.
Jorginho (29) signed for Chelsea in July 2018 after months of reports linking him with a move to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
City instead operated that season with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan in Jorginho’s position, before signing Rodri from Atletico Madrid a year later.
Since then, relations between Napoli and City have been turbulent to say the least.
The Italian giants were reportedly furious with City’s pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly in 2020, and have even gone as far as to refuse to negotiate with the Manchester club over midfielder Fabian Ruiz.
At the heart of this stormy relationship is Napoli president Aurelio di Laurentiis.
He said at the time that Jorginho was close to City before Chelsea made a late move, prompted by their appointment of Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, who had been key to Jorginho’s breakthrough in Naples.
Now, the player himself has backed up these claims.
“I had started talks with Man City in 2018, I could see myself there,” the midfielder told France Football.
“But, well, Chelsea insisted, and today I’m very happy here.”
That ‘insistence’ started shortly after Sarri joined Chelsea to replace the recently sacked Antonio Conte.
Sarri wanted to bring Jorginho, a crucial part of his overachieving Napoli side, to Stamford Bridge, and so Chelsea offered a fee higher than City were willing to reach to ensure the deal was done
However, the surprise move certainly worked out for all parties. Jorginho has since won the Champions League and European Championships, both in 2021, and has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or for his role in both victories
Meanwhile, Rodri has been excelling for City at the base of Pep Guardiola’s midfield.
As the two occupy a very similar space on the pitch, it’s reasonable to assume that Rodri would not have joined City if Jorginho’s transfer to the Etihad had been finalised.