Manchester City have missed out on one their primary targets for this transfer window after Premier League rivals Chelsea confirmed the signing of Jorginho from Napoli.
The Premier League champions are said to be furious with the Serie A outfit, according to the Manchester Evening News, after they believed that a deal had already been agreed between all parties for Jorginho to move to the Etihad.
However, the Premier League champions have been gazumped by Chelsea, and manager Pep Guardiola must now decide whether to sign an alternative to the Brazilian-born Italy international or work with what he has got.
Attack and defensive midfield are the areas of Manchester City’s squad that Guardiola had set out to reinforce this summer with the former Barcelona boss having hoped to bring in Jorginho alongside the recently signed Riyad Mahrez.
But Guardiola’s plans have been thrown into turmoil with Jorginho opting to link up with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea instead, and the Times journalist Paul Hirst (via City Watch) has suggested that the Spaniard could now turn to Fabian Delph for defensive midfield cover.
Delph may not be Fernandinho’s long-term successor in the position but, in this moment of time, the 28-year-old could definitely be a viable option.
Delph, who is valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, played the most of last season at left-back with Benjamin Mendy missing the majority of Manchester City’s title-winning campaign through injury. And in midfield, the England international’s attributes make him best suited to a box-to-box role.
Under Guardiola, though, Delph has added more to his game and has become a significantly better footballer overall.
Guardiola also has Ilkay Gundogan, who has often performed well in the position when called upon, if his Delph experiment does not go to plan.
Missing out on Jorginho would have come as a blow to Guardiola, but Manchester City still have a squad capable enough to easily retain their Premier League title and go on a good Champions League run.