Mikel Arteta favourite ‘leaving’ Arsenal after less than a year with Edu ‘willing to listen to offers’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal midfielder Jorginho with the Lazio and Arsenal badges

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is open to the sale of Jorginho after only six months at the Emirates, according to reports.

Jorginho was signed from London rivals Chelsea for around £10million in the winter transfer window.

The Italian international was brought in by Arteta after he failed to sign Brighton’s Moises Caicedo despite lodging a £70m bid for the 21-year-old.

The signing was viewed as pretty underwhelming at the time, but Jorginho quickly won over the Gunners fan base by putting in a string of solid performances, with his best coming in the 2-0 win at Newcastle United last month.

Arsenal are expected to sign at least two midfielders in the summer transfer window and Arteta has reportedly made West Ham captain Declan Rie his number-one target.

A bid for Rice appears to be imminent, while the north Londoners remain interested in Caicedo.

Arteta would have been pursuing Rice regardless of potential outgoing transfers, but he is especially eager to bring him in with Granit Xhaka set to join German side Bayer Leverkusen.

READ MORE: Arsenal and Arteta offer Jorginho love he never felt after Sarriball at Chelsea

And now Jorginho is being linked with a return to Italy after five years in the capital.

According to La Lazio Siamo Noi (via Sport Witness), Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri, who was Jorginho’s boss at Napoli before signing the player for Chelsea, has asked the Italian club’s president Claudio Lotito to sign the Arsenal midfielder in the summer.

It is claimed that Jorginho ‘is leaving’ the Gunners and ‘would not mind returning to Italy at all’.

In terms of finances, the 31-year-old is not expected to be too expensive as he only has a year left on his Arsenal contract, but his wage demands are expected to be the ‘most difficult’ part of negotiations.

A report from 90min has said Arteta’s side are ‘willing to listen to offers’ for the former Chelsea midfielder.

Arsenal are not exactly actively looking to get rid of Jorginho but ‘will not stand in his way’ if he wants to return to his home country.

Lazio are once again said to be interested, with this report adding Serie A champions Napoli and AC Milan to the mix.

The report adds that Albert Sambi Lokonga is likely to leave in the summer, while Emile Smith Rowe is not for sale.

Arteta surprised many by signing Jorginho in January, but the Spanish manager quickly insisted the Arsenal fans would “fall in love” with the European Championship-winning Italian.

He told beIN Sports: “They are going to fall in love with him.

“The same way the players have and the coaching staff have here because of his personality, how humble he is, because he makes everybody better and that’s a huge quality.”

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