Manchester City recently announced the signing of long-term target Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City and, with the Algerian winger secured, the Premier League champions are now likely to only add a midfielder to their squad before calling it a day in this transfer window.
However, one name that will not be arriving at Manchester City is Napoli’s Jorginho. The Brazilian-born Italy international has long been linked with a move to the Etihad, but Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, as reported by Gianluca Di Marzio, has stated Jorginho is close to joining Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri set to succeed Antonio Conte as Blues boss.
Jorginho was Guardiola’s primary target to reinforce the midfield and provide competition for Fernandinho; failing to sign the 26-year-old will come as a huge blow having already missed out on Fred to rivals Manchester United.
Manchester City have since be rumoured to be interested in Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic (via Daily Mirror) who, although is not exactly like-for-like, would still be a very good alternative to Jorginho.
If for whatever reason director of football Tixi Bergstein cannot bring Kovacic to the Etihad though, then the club should consider buying Steven N’Zonzi from Sevilla.
£27m-rated (via Transfermarkt) N’Zonzi may not be the most thrilling name out there for Manchester City supporters, but the Frenchman is capable of carrying out the duties of a defensive midfielder in a Guardiola team.
On top of his height and power, N’Zonzi has the ability to recycle possession effectively and start attacks – at £35m (N’Zonzi’s release clause via the Independent), Guardiola would be getting the same profile of midfielder as Jorginho for significantly less.
With Manchester City no longer interested in getting into bidding wars, players such as N’Zonzi can be very effective plan Bs.