Maurizio Sarri craving Jorginho reunion at Lazio - new Chelsea contract unlikely
Maurizio Sarri is desperate for a reunion with Jorginho at Lazio, 90min understands, with the Chelsea midfielder unlikely to be offered a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Italy international's current deal expires in June 2023 and there has been speculation over his future for some time. His outspoken agent Joao Santos regularly talks up a return to Serie A, with Juventus most frequently touted as his likely destination.
Jorginho's midfield partner N'Golo Kante is due to be out of contract at the same time, and Chelsea want to avoid the kind of predicament they have this year with defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger likely to walk away on free transfers having failed to agree fresh terms.
However, 90min understands that the Blues do not plan to renew both Jorginho and Kante's contracts, as each player is now over the age of 30 - usually the threshold for Chelsea to stop offering longer-term deals.
Both have also come in for criticism due to periods of indifferent form this season, while Mateo Kovacic has emerged as a key player in the centre of the park.
With that in mind, Jorginho could be sold this summer and sources have told 90min that it is Lazio who are leading the pursuit from Serie A, with AC Milan and Juve among those interested too.
The 30-year-old previously shone under Lazio manager Sarri at Napoli, and it was the enigmatic coach who took him to Chelsea from under the nose of Manchester City in a blockbuster transfer in 2018, ahead of his sole season in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
Sarri is desperate to work with the regista again, and a deal could be possible if Chelsea want to capitalise on one of their final chances to cash in before the Brazil-born Italian's contract runs out.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel spoke last week about the importance of avoiding the kind of situation where key players are walking away for free.
"With important players, it’s a wish as a coach that we solve this in the summer anyway," Tuchel said. "That it’s clear where the journey is, what the decision is.
"Then we have the same talks about Toni [Rudiger] and Andreas [Christensen], we just swap the names, we talk about it through winter, then comes January, then the agents talk with these clubs and the brother to the other...it would be nice if we can avoid it.
"But in the moment, it’s a bit difficult. Yes, this should be the target for all of us."
Tuchel is hoping to oversee a mini-overhaul of the Chelsea midfield in the summer, 90min understands. Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni is the priority, although West Ham's Declan Rice remains a target.
The emergence of impressive loanee Conor Gallagher will likely save them some money as he returns to play a role in the first-team squad.
In terms of outgoings, Saul Niguez's loan from Atletico Madrid won't be made permanent, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are likely to be sold.
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