Another day, another defensive midfielder rumor. With the 2021-2022 season firmly in the rearview mirror now, clubs across Europe are preparing to shift their focus to every football fan's favorite time of the year: silly season. Fresh off their first title of any sort since 2008 and riding the Mourinho high, Roma's summer transfer market feels more important than ever. José Mourinho laid a solid foundation during his first year in the Italian capital, giving many fans the impression that the club is only a few key pieces away from competing for a place in Serie A's top four.
And you don't have to be a Roma insider to know what one of those key pieces must be: a legitimate defensive midfielder. After swinging and missing (multiple times) in their pursuit of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka last summer, Mourinho made do with everyone from Bryan Cristante to Sérgio Oliveira to Edoardo Bove back there, leaving many to wonder how much more the club could have achieved with a more suitable last line of defense in front of the backline.
Yesterday, we poured over the merits of adding Douglas Luiz, Aston Villa's, shall we say, hybrid defensive midfielder; a notable player that suddenly became available after Villa's shock signing of Boubacar Kamara. While that may come to pass, according to a report floated by 90min, Chelsea midfielder and Italian international Jorginho has been given his walking papers at Stamford Bridge, putting several Serie A and La Liga clubs on notice—a possibility we discussed as recently as March after his agent hinted at a change of address this summer.
And now that 90min's report has been picked up by a host of outlets, including Sports Illustrated, this smoke may soon produce flames. Having spent the first several years of his career in Serie A with Verona and later Napoli, Jorginho is certainly no stranger to Roma fans, who could only dream of the Giallorossi landing the £50 million-rated midfielder back in 2018 when he bolted for Chelsea.
While Jorginho's time at Stamford Bridge was a resounding success, as classy and as talented as he may be, he’s not immune to the realities of the sport. With Chelsea headman Thomas Tuchel eager to integrate 22-year-old Conor Gallagher into the mix, Jorginho is suddenly surplus to requirements. And according to 90min, he's already drawing attention from Juventus, Napoli, Lazio, and Roma, in addition to a handful of clubs in Spain.
Still rated at a healthy €45 million by Transfermarkt, Jorginho won't come cheap but there are a few factors working in Roma's favor. With only one year remaining on his deal and Tuchel seemingly desperate to remake his midfield, there may be room for negotiation here—and that's without even factoring in Chelsea's organizational instability at the moment.
For some strange reason, Jorginho's star has faded a bit since leading Italy to European glory last summer, but he's still a passing and pressing machine, one that's been a lock for 25-30 appearances over the past several seasons. He may not be 27-years-old anymore, but linking up with The Special One could set Jorginho up for sustained success as he approaches life as a 30-year-old + footballer.
Say it with me now... stay tuned.