Hellas Verona midfielder Jorginho has long been heralded as one of the hottest prospects in Italy and over the summer many teams were linked with his signature - including Premier League outfits Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Last January Arsenal reportedly mulled over a potential bid for the player after the clubs Italian based scout Tony Banfield gave ‘a glowing recommendation’ of the talented maestro.
Chelsea’s interest was far more recent. At the end of last season they had reportedly made a breakthrough with a £7 million bid for the player.
Meanwhile Liverpool registered an interest in the player this summer, while AC Milan were reported to have actually signed 50% of the players rights a couple of months ago.
And there was good reason for all the apparent English interest in the player.
Reports suggested that Jorginho, full name Jorge Luiz Frello, had a release clause in his contract worth £3.5 million; but only to teams from overseas as domestic interest continued to rise in the player.
Then there is his Italian passport to consider; making him eligible to play anywhere in the EU freely which made him more eligible to English suitors.
In the end, Jorginho stayed with Verona, vowing to help them fight relegation from Serie A after his side earned promotion.
But they might be hoping for a slight but more than that. When they beat AC Milan on the opening day via two goals from veteran striker Luca Toni, it was put down as the plucky newcomers giving it a good go.
But they appear to be a little more than that.
From their seven games so far they have won four and drew one, losing just the two games, against unbeaten Roma and Juventus.
After they defeated Bologna 4-1 away from home at the weekend, Verona are even being talked off as dark horses for European football.
Jorginho though is not getting carried away:
‘’Nobody expected such a beginning. We are living a dream right now. However, we are only talking about survival here. For that reason, we have to keep training as we have done so far.”
He has been at the heart of their success, scoring three goals and playing in almost every minute of every game.
His value is going up, and the interest is surely being reinforced - but don’t expect him to go anywhere until he has achieved his goals with his beloved Verona.
Would you like to see interest in Jorginho pick up in January?
image: © ell-r-brown