The summer transfer window, affectionately known as Silly Season ‘round these parts, is more than halfway over for the Premier League, but for Chelsea, it’s been rather short on the actual silliness thus far. With the club concentrating almost exclusively on trying to replace Antonio Conte, and making a massive show of ineuptitude out of something that had come naturally over the past decade and a half, there’s been little time for anything else. And that’s a bit of problem, as the squad needs reinforcing, regardless of who sits in the hot seat one months from now. (And nowhere does it need more help than in midfield.)
But perhaps in a sign of the Sarri saga finally coming to a close one way or another, the actual silliness surrounding it has picked up as well. Actually, it hasn’t just picked up. In fact, it’s been turned all the way up to 11.
Napoli midfielder Jorginho, briefly linked with Chelsea in May, looked all but set for Manchester City as recently as this time last week for a cool €50m. Then, suddenly, three days ago, that man Alfredo Pedullà cried
wolf Sarri once again and claimed that Jorginho “could be” the key to unlock the impasse. We laughed. Fool us thirteen times, Alfredo...
That approach is City’s decision to only sign players who really want to play for them. With Fred, United offered more money, he was happy with that offer, City wouldn’t match it. Similar to Alexis really. Now, if Chelsea are in for Jorginho, he’ll have to say it’s City or bust.— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) July 9, 2018
Last night, Jorginho got on an airplane in his native Brazil — though he’s lived in and represented Italy since his mid-teens — bound for Heathrow, according to some speculation among Italian media.
Confirmed: Jorginho's family is airborne.— Everything Napoli (@NaplesAndNapoli) July 9, 2018
Destination still unknown.
( Jorgi's IG) pic.twitter.com/d9x7NMTPkl
While that certainly doesn’t preclude him from then taking a connection flight to, say, Manchester, what has gotten everybody’s dials turned all the way to the right is both Jorginho’s mother and Jorginho’s sister following Chelsea on Instagram. Coincidence? Could be.
It should be noted that one of the silliest summer stories ever was Messi following Chelsea on Instagram and everyone making a big deal out of that. There’s a decent chance this situation is similar. Perhaps Jorginho’s family just wants to keep up on the opposition as well. Then again, Jorginho’s mother apparently wasn’t following Manchester City ... and I feel silly just typing this.
Welcome to Silly Season!
Jorginho leaving Napoli wasn’t really in doubt — so the supposed “non-belligerence” clause should not apply — as he was not selected for their first preseason convocation. Pedullà claims that City are not out of it yet and “do not rule out raises by the Citizens”, but Chelsea are now favored. An improved bid and a bidding war would probably be sweet music to De Laurentiis’s ear.
Meanwhile, there’s supposedly direct contact between all the power brokers of the two clubs (for the first time this summer, according to Sky Italia, after all the nonsense of the last two months between intermediaries and lawyers and the like), with ADL, Abramovich, and Granovskaia all working to figure something out. The previously mentioned “key” could be a double deal that would see both Jorginho and Sarri arrive at Chelsea today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday) for somewhere in the region of €60m+.
So according to @SkySport, Chelsea have in the last few hours made the first official contact with Napoli to try to find a solution to get Sarri released from his Napoli contract. FIRST CONTACT! And after all these attacks on ADL and Napoli. Finally. ♂️ #Sarri— Everything Napoli (@NaplesAndNapoli) July 9, 2018
The manuevers are “no longer underground”! Emerge into the light, thy silliness. Emerge!