Premier League • England

Pivotal Arsenal star’s exit talked up by agent who’s named three clubs he could quit for

Jorginho and Gabriel Martinelli

Jorginho and Gabriel Martinelli celebrating for Arsenal

The agent of Arsenal midfielder Jorginho has hinted at an exit for his client in the summer, despite the midfielder recently winning over some of his doubters at the Emirates Stadium, and three clubs back in Serie A will be on alert after his comments.

Jorginho joined Arsenal from Chelsea last January in a move that was seen as a surprise by some. The intention was for his experience to help add extra fuel to their Premier League title pursuit, but that ultimately fell short.

More recently, though, Jorginho has impressed for Arsenal, even donning the captain’s armband on occasion. It has led to speculation that he could be in for a longer stay than expected there.

Jorginho’s original Arsenal contract is due to expire in the summer, though there is an option for the club to extend it for another season, which they might be tempted to do on current form.

But Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos has left the door open for the 32-year-old to quit Arsenal and return to his adopted homeland of Italy.

Speaking to TV Play, Santos has explained how Jorginho could reunite with any of three familiar faces at three separate clubs back in Serie A.

In Santos’ eyes, Jorginho could be placed at Lazio to work with his former Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri, Juventus under former Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli, or even back to Napoli themselves with their new coach Francesco Calzona, who was previously part of Sarri’s staff.

“He’d suit Lazio more, for the presence of coach Sarri who already knows his characteristics very well,” explained Santos, “but also Juve who have a great director of sport like Cristiano Giuntoli, who he spent many years with at Napoli.

“I would not rule out a return to Napoli with new coach Calzona, who used to work with Sarri before that.”

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Agent hints at two other destinations for Jorginho

In addition to those three clubs, Santos has suggested there are a couple more that might be of interest to the Brazil-born playmaker.

“I don’t think Roma would be likely, because there has never been any contact with them,” Santos clarified, “but when it comes to their strength and tradition, everyone would love to play for Milan and Inter.”

Before coming to the Premier League with Chelsea, following Sarri from Napoli in 2018, Jorginho spent his entire senior career in Italy.

He started out with Hellas Verona, after a loan spell in the fourth tier with Sambonifacese, and helped the Gialloblu win promotion to Serie A, spending half a season with them in the top flight before switching to Napoli.

It was over his four-and-a-half-year spell in Naples, working under Rafael Benitez and then Sarri, that Jorginho really made a name for himself, also earning the first several of his half-century of Italy caps in the process.

Jorginho has subsequently spent some of his prime years in the Premier League, becoming a Europa League and Champions League winner with Chelsea and now setting his sights on some success with Arsenal, despite his long-term future there now being up for question.

Jorginho has started 12 of his 25 Arsenal appearances this season

Jorginho is one of four defensive midfielders at Arsenal, along with Declan Rice, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.

Out of that crop, only club-record signing Rice seems a certainty to still be at Arsenal next season. In fact, it is probably Jorginho who would be classed as the next most likely.

He has made 25 appearances for the club so far this season after 16 in the second half of last season following his move from Chelsea.

This season, Mikel Arteta has started him in some big games against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as half of their Champions League group games.

Arsenal might benefit from retaining his senior presence in their ever-evolving midfield, but might be wary of any interest that develops in him back in Italy.

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