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Gossip: Chelsea 'try to hijack Man City move for Jorginho', Everton and Dortmund 'target £70m Zaha', Man Utd 'open talks' with Milinkovic-Savic

Could Chelsea pip Manchester City to the signing of Jorginho?

Manchester City’s pursuit of the Napoli midfielder Jorginho has raised one unavoidable question: is he travelling there on a skateboard?

A secondary question, assuming the answer to the first one is yes, would be: is Jorginho actually rubbish at riding this skateboard and keeps falling off, before getting gingerly back to his feet and slowly setting off again?

The reason this question must be asked is that the completion of the transfer seems to be taking an awfully long time. Like, a worryingly long time.

For pretty much every day of the past month, it has been reported that the Premier League champions are “closing in” on the Italian’s signature for an alleged fee of £48m.

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In fact, all the way back on 31 May 2018, non-gossip dabblers BBC Sport reported that Jorginho was “close to” moving to the Etihad and a deal would be concluded “by the end of next week”. And that’s not in the BBC Sport gossip column by the way; that’s an actual BBC article.

Yet here we are, six weeks later, and the 26-year-old is still in Naples and City are still allegedly “about to” seal the deal.

But this dithering could prove costly, because the Manchester Evening News reports that Chelsea are set to intercept Jorginho’s skateboard somewhere north-east of Lyon… and hijack it!

They don’t actually say that, there is no mention of a skateboard specifically, but the paper does report that the Blues will attempt to take advantage of the delays in the City deal by bringing Jorginho to west London instead.

The Brazil-born playmaker is a favourite of Chelsea’s gaffer-elect Maurizio Sarri, a man who weirdly is still his manager at Napoli despite the fact both of them have already been replaced (Sarri by Carlo Ancelotti and Jorginho by £26m Real Betis star Fabian Luiz).

Speaking of which, Sarri’s move to Stamford Bridge also seems to be dragging on a tad – he’s another one who has been “close to” leaving Napoli for about six weeks.

I’m starting to think this might have nothing to do with skateboards and just be about Napoli having the most stubborn chairman in Europe.

Just in case the move falls to pieces, or Jorginho’s skateboard gets hit by a lorry on the M2, the Mirror reports that City have enquired about Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic as an alternative option.

Moving on, the Sun says Borussia Dortmund will use money raised from selling Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko to West Ham to fund a raid for Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha.

The Germans are set to receive £17.5m from the Hammers for Yarmolenko, which would give them roughly enough to afford one of Zaha’s legs given that the Eagles are demanding £70m for the 25-year-old Ivorian.

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In any case, the Mirror says Everton boss Marco Silva is determined not to let this happen because he is “desperate” to land Zaha – all of him.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have officially “opened talks” with Lazio about signing their £90m-rated Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Il Messagero). At least, that’s what they were saying he was worth prior to the World Cup, before everyone actually watched him play.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski looks set to remain with the Bundesliga champions despite claiming earlier in the summer that he wanted to leave (Bild), Liverpool have had a £16m offer for Croatia’s World Cup defender Domagoj Vida rejected by his club Besiktas (90min) and Newcastle have joined the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who recently tried to cancel his contract with the Portuguese club (A Bola). That interest could end when Mike Ashley realises the Magpies will actually have to pay money for him.

@darlingkevin

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