Chelsea's attempts to hijack Manchester City's move for Italian midfielder Jorginho appear to have been successful after Napoli club president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed that a deal had been agreed.
City have been linked with the 26-year-old for several months at this point, but despite the offer of Champions League football, Jorginho has chosen Chelsea instead because he prefers to live in London rather than Manchester.
City agreed a deal 15 days ago but having learned of Jorginho's decision they instead made it their top priority to bring Riyad Mahrez to the club from Leicester City in a £60m deal completed yesterday.
Aurelio De Laurentiis tells the Italian press he apologises to Manchester City, confirming a deal was agreed for Jorginho 15 days ago. However, the player prefers to live in London over Manchester and has chosen Chelsea.— City Watch (@City_Watch) July 11, 2018
A video shared on Twitter by CalcioNapoli24 journalist Claudio Russo showed the Brazil-born star on his way to a London-bound flight, suggesting that a medical could be just hours away.
Jorginho's head has been turned by talks with his former manager Maurizio Sarri, who is set to take over from Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager in the coming days.
De Laurentiis also confirmed this, telling Gianluca Di Marzio: “Sarri is close to becoming the new Chelsea manager. My lawyers are in talks with his lawyers to finalize everything.”
Sarri left the Stadio San Paolo at the end of last season, in which Napoli recorded their highest ever Serie A points tally but still finished as league runners-up to Juventus.
As well as Sarri's interest in his former player, Napoli were also swayed in the direction of selling to Chelsea rather than Manchester City after talks between Blues chairman Roman Abramovich and De Laurentiis.
Chelsea's offer was larger than City's, and they are also ready to pay the sizeable buyout clause required to release Sarri from his Napoli contract.
It is reported that Sarri and Jorginho will cost €65m combined - €57m for Jorginho and €8m for Sarri.