My tribe

Why Arsenal face threat from Man Utd boss Ferguson for Verona star Jorginho

Arsenal will have to move fast if they're to win the race for Jorginho's signature.

Hellas Verona president Maurizio Setti set Italy's hyper rumour mill into overdrive last month when revealing contact with the Gunners over the 21 year-old

"Jorginho has grown a lot this season and has reached a great value," declared Setti. "Arsenal want him, but it's not just them. In addition to the English, the biggest Italian clubs have also asked for him," revealed Setti.

Interestingly, Setti dropped the Gunners bombshell as he emerged from a lunch meeting which included, among others, AC Milan director Ariedo Braida.

Milan, in their efforts to bring the best of Italy's next generation to the club, have already intimated a willingness to pay €7 million for Jorginho, but Setti warns: "Nothing will be decided until June.

"He can leave for a fee similar to that of Marco Verratti's."

Last summer, with Pescara having just left Verona behind in Serie B, Verratti was sold to PSG for €12 million. Many Serie B experts rate Jorginho's form this season superior to what convinced PSG splash out on Verratti.

Milan apart, Arsenal also face competition from closer to home.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been aware of Jorginho since his time on-loan at Serie D Sambonifacese three years ago. A hat-trick in the Coppa Italia had Fergie's scouts buzzing and they've been making regular checks on the now 21 year-old ever since.

Only last Saturday, both United and Zenit St Petersburg were represented to run the rule over Jorginho in action against Novara. Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, with their deep network of Brazilian talent spotters, are also on the midfielder's case.

"I have earned my place after a year of hard work," says Jorginho. "The compliments are nice, but I know I can't afford to relax. My focus now is Hellas Verona." Alessandro De Blasi, a Verona fan with deep links to Brazilian football, first brought Jorginho to the club along with several other Brazilians, including teammate Marcelina Emerson and Ronaldo Pompeu, now with Catanzaro, but it was the little No10 who had coaching staff most impressed.

Indeed, as he was making his way through the club's youth system, former assistant coach Luciano Bruni recommended Jorginho to Juventus.

But Juve passed.

"It worked out better for Hellas," recalled Bruni, who now acknowledges Verona stand to make a killing on Jorginho's sale as two of the Premier League's biggest clubs come calling.

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?