Arsenal reportedly weighed up moves for Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Ajax’s Edson Alvarez before settling on Chelsea’s Jorginho. The Italian midfielder has joined the Gunners for £12 million, signing a one-year deal with the option of a further year.
Mikel Arteta’s side admitted defeat in their pursuit of Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo after seeing two bids in the region of £70 million rejected. Jorginho, 31, meanwhile, boasts proven Premier League and European experience.
However, Arsenal had considered other options before turning to the former Blues man. According to the Athletic, the Gunners kept tabs on Sociedad midfielder Zubimendi. The Spaniard was sought by several European sides this month, including Barcelona. The 23-year-old has made 24 appearances, scoring once and providing three assists. He signed a two-year deal with La Real in October last year with a release clause of £52.5 million.
Meanwhile, Alvarez, 25, was another option, but Ajax were unlikely to allow the Mexican to leave midway through the season. He has featured 24 times, scoring one goal and providing two assists. Chelsea targeted the Eredivisie talent last summer but saw a £45 million bid rejected.
Subsequently, Arsenal swooped in for Jorginho, and the Italian was happy to join the Premier League leaders. He said that Arteta played a big role in bringing him to the Emirates (via the club’s website):
“He was a big influence because I know that he tried a few times to get me before, and it didn’t happen due to other reasons, not because of my wishes. So, of course, he had a big influence.”
Jorginho will wear the No. 20 shirt for the Gunners and will provide competition for Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in midfield. Arteta’s men are flying high atop the standings, leading second-placed Manchester City by five points after 19 games, and have a game in hand.
Arsenal and Chelsea target Caicedo has returned to training with Brighton after failing to secure dream move
Caicedo was top of Arsenal’s transfer wishlist during the January transfer window, with the Gunners eager to snap up the Brighton midfielder. They made two offers for around £70 million but failed to meet the Seagulls’ £80 million valuation.
The 21-year-old pushed for a move to either the north Londoners or Chelsea, who were also interested in his services. He left a statement on Instagram, urging Brighton to allow him to join one of the two London clubs.
Nevertheless, the Daily Express reports that Caicedo has now returned to training with Roberto De Zerbi’s side. He could feature in the clash with Bournemouth on Saturday (February 4). The Ecuadorian has made 21 appearances, scoring one goal and contributing an assist, this season.
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