Pep Guardiola will be desperate to build on last season’s success by not only leading Manchester City to another Premier League title but also taking them further in the Champions League.
And the Spaniard is hoping to bring in the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jorginho to help the team do so, although a deal for the latter has become complicated.
Fernandinho was a vital component in Manchester City’s record-breaking Premier League winning side last season; however, at 33, the Brazilian is coming to the latter stages of his successful career at the Etihad and Guardiola, as a result, is looking for a long-term successor.
Napoli’s Jorginho has since been linked but, according to Tuttosport (via ViVicentro.it), the Premier League champions could be gazumped by Chelsea for the Brazilian-born Italy international’s signature.
If such events unfold, Guardiola could instead turn to Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic, as reported by the Daily Mirror, who would be a great alternative to Jorginho.
While Jorginho is probably the more natural defensive midfielder for a Guardiola side, Kovacic possesses all of the attributes to play there and overall, has the ability and intelligence to be deployed in any of the midfield roles.
And considering the midfield options Real Madrid already have at their disposal – Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro – the current Champions League holders are likely to be less sturdy in negotiations than Napoli and Aurelio De Laurentiis have been with Jorginho.
Missing out on Jorginho will come as a big disappointment to Guardiola, especially to a Premier League rival such as Chelsea, but Kovacic serves as an excellent plan B.