Cape Town - Napoli president Aurelio De
Laurentiis claims that Chelsea are leading the race to sign Jorginho, despite
accepting an offer from Manchester City.
The 26-year-old midfielder had been a
priority target for City manager Pep Guardiola and appeared to be closing in on
a move to the Etihad Stadium after a fee was agreed between the two clubs.
But the Blues have emerged as contenders
for his signature, with De Laurentiis revealing that Jorginho has requested to
be transferred to Stamford Bridge instead.
There is also a strong possibility that the
Italy international could reunited with former Azzurri manager Maurizio Sarri,
who is widely expected to replace Antonio Conte once his contract wrangle with
Naples outfit is resolved.
"We said to ourselves if Jorginho has
any requests, we'll take them into account," De Laurentiis told a press
conference at the unveiling of Carlo Ancelotti as the club's new head coach.
"I accepted Manchester City's offer 15
days ago, but I have to apologise to them. I can understand if the player
prefers to live in London than in Manchester, and if Chelsea pay him more I can
understand that too.
"Jorginho to Chelsea is not tied to
The 69-year-old believes the Sarri saga is
nearing a conclusion, adding: "His case is at the finish line, it depends
"We'll see what happens in the next
hours. My lawyers have submitted the text to his lawyers."