Jorginho admits he was planning to join Man City before Chelsea switch

Tom Gott
Jorginho came close to joining Man City
Jorginho came close to joining Man City / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has confessed he wasn't initially keen on moving to Stamford Bridge and favoured a move to Manchester City instead.

Back in 2018, City were deep in talks with Jorginho and were widely expected to bring the Italian in, only for Chelsea to win the race for his signature and bring him over from Napoli alongside manager Maurizio Sarri.

Jorginho was often billed as Sarri's favourite son during a tricky debut season at the Bridge, but speaking to L'Equipe, the midfielder confessed that a reunion with Sarri almost put him off joining Chelsea in the first place.

"I had been working with Sarri for three years, so when he wanted me at Chelsea, I didn't really want to go," he said. "I had started discussions with Manchester City and I could see myself there already.

"But hey, Chelsea insisted, and I'm very happy here today, especially after such an incredible 2021. It was absolutely surreal. I use the word 'surreal' because what is happening to me is so huge that I can hardly believe it. I couldn't even dream of it."

Jorginho is expected to be in the running for the 2021 Ballon d'Or after a trophy-laden year, but many have questioned the praise coming the Italian's way. Some critics have accused Jorginho of not doing enough in games, but the midfielder believes his best work usually goes unnoticed.

"It's true that people don't see me too much," he continued. "I stay in the shadows. I'm not like N'Golo [Kante] who runs around for 90 minutes and steals 300 balls per game. I'm not like [Mateo] Kovacic who managed to dribble past two players before throwing himself forward.

"Me, I am more the one who fluidifies the whole move, puts oil in the engine. I've managed to gain the trust of my team-mates, so when I tell them where to go, they listen to me and it's very rewarding.

"My style is based on playing the game, knowing where to intercept the balls, in which area of the field to try and breach the opposition defence, creating an opening for my team-mate through movement...all of this is subtle so I totally understand that I am less visible than others."