Arsenal sign Jorginho from Chelsea for reported £12M fee
Premier League leaders Arsenal bolstered their midfield by signing Jorginho from Chelsea on deadline day.
Arsenal will pay an initial £10-million fee for the Italian international, plus £2 million in add-ons, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.
"Everything has happened so fast. I was a bit surprised, but I took the opportunity of this amazing challenge," Jorginho said. "It's an important shirt. It's an amazing club, a big one, and I'm really excited and happy to be here."
The north London side, looking to capture its first league title since 2004, was keen to acquire midfield depth ahead of Tuesday's transfer deadline, particularly after it was announced that Mohamed Elneny will be sidelined for an "extended period" after undergoing surgery on his right knee.
"Jorginho is a midfield player with intelligence, deep leadership skills and a huge amount of Premier League and international experience," Mikel Arteta said. "Jorginho has won in his career, but he still has the hunger and huge willingness to contribute here."
The 31-year-old was set to become a free agent this summer. The former Napoli star made 143 appearances for Chelsea, who decided to sanction a January sale in order to avoid losing him for nothing.
Arsenal's top midfield target was Moises Caicedo, but the Gunners' largest bid for the Ecuadorian dynamo, worth a total of £70 million, was swiftly rejected by Brighton & Hove Albion, according to Romano. With time running out, a move for Jorginho proved easier to complete, especially with Chelsea pursuing - and eventually signing - Enzo Fernandez.
The Brazilian-born Jorginho, who's won the Champions League, Europa League, and European Championship in recent years, will provide a veteran presence and title-winning experience for a young Arsenal squad aiming to hold off Manchester City in the second half of the season. Arsenal currently have a five-point cushion over the reigning champions with one match in hand on Pep Guardiola's squad.
Arsenal went into the January window with a clear plan to add overall squad depth, and did so across every positional group by acquiring Jorginho, defender Jakub Kiwior, and forward Leandro Trossard.
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