raise the contracted price of a property after having informally accepted a lower offer
Manchester City are fuming, irate, steamed and generally not happy that Jorginho signed with Chelsea after they had a preliminary agreement in place with Napoli and had come to contract terms with the player.
What City have discovered, late in the game apparently, is that dealing with Aurelio Di Laurentiis is a perilous exercise and not for the faint of heart. It’s a lesson that Chelsea have learned the hard way over the years (in protracted and vain efforts to land Kalidou Koulibaly and Edinson Cavani).
Now City know what it’s like to be at the mercy of the scheming, self-serving, Bond villain-esque Napoli president — in fairness, exactly what you’d want your club president to be. You see, Di Laurentiis had agreed to sell Jorginho to the Sky Blues for £44m at some point in late June. There were “details” still to be worked out, which the Manchester Evening News described as being nothing more than the schedule of payments. But they thought they had a deal. Famous City fan ... err, Noel Gallagher? ... even celebrated the impending move.
Noel Gallagher after his concert in Naples tonight:— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 21, 2018
"Best wishes to Napoli for next season and thanks for Jorginho!" pic.twitter.com/BCqqsBZddu
But what City have now learned is that in Napoli, no deal is final until it’s signed, sealed and delivered. And it wasn’t.
Di Laurentiis, who is relentless and cunning when it comes to protecting the interests of his club, saw a way to get more money for the already departing asset named Jorginho. He knew Chelsea were interested. And so he made the midfielder part of a package deal for Maurizio Sarri (whom he no longer intended to employ, having hired Carlo Ancelotti). Net result? Napoli walk away with £53m for the pair, a tidy increase of £9m.
Everybody’s happy. Well, everybody except City, that is.
Man City's Jorginho deal has collapsed and they are furious https://t.co/BZl7DYo6qZ— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) July 14, 2018
City’s side of the story is that they had a handshake agreement with Di Laurentiis. More importantly, they claim that Jorginho himself was excited about playing for Pep and that City were the club he wanted.
They blame his agent, Joao Santos, for not standing up to what they see as skullduggery. Yarr, skullduggery, I says, skullduggery! They never could get the midfielder in for a medical. And once Napoli had secured terms with Chelsea, Di Laurentiis threatened Jorginho that if he didn’t agree to go to London, he’d sit in the stands for the last two years of his contract.
So basically, salty City’s view is that Jorginho is a hostage to Sarri’s future.
Does this look like the face of a hostage?
Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri at Cobham training ground sharing a laugh and a joke pic.twitter.com/biKtzu5tXS— - (@MaurizioIogy) July 14, 2018
Or this? He’s screaming in pain, obviously.
Manchester City may be champions, but they’ve now lost out on three high profile targets at the final hour in the last 6-9 months: Alexis Sanchez, Fred, both of whom wen to cross-town rivals Manchester United, and now Jorginho. Their squad is still pretty good, one should acknowledge, though the proverbial Premier League arms race never stops.
But that’s their problem. For us, it’s a time to break out the smiles after a grim two months since winning the FA Cup.