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Jorginho says farewell to Napoli, pays tribute to the city, the club, and Sarri

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The Napoli midfielder is on his way to the Premier League

SS Lazio v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Jorginho is on his way to England, probably to Chelsea though the way this transfer has developed, it would be foolish to rule out an 11th hour re-gazump by Manchester City. Still, as it stands, Chelsea are looking to gain a tremendous midfielder, and probably alongside a new head coach as well. That latter part remains in limbo as much as the Jorginho deal appears to be gaining clarity (€4.5m/year wages).

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old flew back to Naples to say goodbye to friends. At the dinner, one of his farewell gifts was apparently a “Topolino”, in English. No, not the car, but the comic book (featuring Disney characters, including Topolino, i.e. Mickey Mouse, himself). You know, to help him learn.

In more serious business, Jorginho said a few words of farewell, too, when CalcioNapoli24 caught up with him. These quotes are now making the rounds, though I think part of it has gotten lost in translation (as it tends to happen).

Here are Jorginho’s original words in Italian, as per CN24:

“Napoli mi mancherà tantissimo, dopo quattro anni vissuti qui... Resto legato a questa città. Vi saluto mister Sarri. Chi giocherà al posto mio nel Napoli? Eh, bella domanda (ride ndr)”

Which translates to:

I will miss Naples very much, after four years of living here. I remain bonded to this city. “Vi saluto mister Sarri”. Who will play in my position at Napoli? Eh, good question (laughs)”

So the line in question is ‘Vi saluto mister Sarri’. Most are reporting it as a response to a prompt (“Will you say hello to Sarri”), but the way Italian media usually do that is to include the question in the quotes. For example, the “who will play in my position?” is not something Jorginho actually said, but was the question posed to him instead. It’s repeated and re-framed to give context. That apparently does not happen for the Sarri line.

It’s likely that in addition to thanking the city and the club, Jorginho was simply thanking Sarri as well. “Vi saluto” usually means to say farewell, or goodbye, or, literally, “to salute” and pay tribute. It makes sense for him to thank Sarri as well, considering that he had struggled to get consistent playing time under Rafa Benitez in 2014.

Several translations, including Football Italia and even the original reporter himself, also have the wrong the number of years mentioned by Jorginho (quattro is four, not five), so it’s tough to completely trust the rest of their translations.

If there was video, we’d know for sure, though this might be a minor point of contention. Sarri’s expected to join alongside Jorginho after all. But the latter seems further along already than the former, so until they’re both here, the distinction could be important.