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Arsenal were also considering two other names in addition to Jorginho before eventually pushing ahead with a swoop for the Italian midfielder, who sealed a deadline day switch from Chelsea following a £12million agreement between the two clubs. The Gunners had still been optimistic that Brighton could yet change their stance on Moises Caicedo following two rejected bids for the Ecuador international.
Although Brighton had repeatedly told Arsenal that the 21-year-old was not for sale at any cost, the Gunners knew they were putting huge money on the table for the South American talent and effectively – every player has a price.
Nonetheless, Edu decided to swerve the prospect of shattering Arsenal’s relationship with the Seagulls and instead decided to pursue alternative targets to Caicedo, despite a strong desire to close the deal.
The move means there is still a chance an agreement can be found in the future when a transfer could be more viable for Brighton.
According to The Athletic, Arsenal also considered moves for Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad and Edson Alvarez over Ajax before pushing ahead with the Jorginho signing.
Both players were of strong interest to Mikel Arteta but given Jorginho was out of contract with Chelsea this summer and already Premier League proven, he ticked key boxes for the Arsenal hierarchy, who have admired him for several years.
Zubimendi recently penned a new two-year contract extension with Real Sociedad in October that has seen his release clause jump up to around £52.5million.
Ultimately, Arsenal considered that to be an excessive fee for a player that was not even their priority target his winter.
Furthermore, Ajax were unlikely to crack and sell Alvarez mid-season given they’re already doing so badly in the Eredivisie.
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The Mexican defensive midfield enforcer is an integral player for the Dutch giants and selling him is only likely to rile the Ajax supporters, who are already suffering this season.
Chelsea saw a £43m bid rejected for Alvarez in the summer transfer window and Newcastle have also shown an interest in the 25-year-old.
In the end, a deal was quickly thrashed out with Chelsea for Jorginho and the Italian signed for an initial £10m rising to £12m in add-ons.
Jorginho will wear the No 20 shirt in north London and will provide cover and competition for Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey in the middle of the park.
Speaking about his new coach Arteta, Jorginho detailed his delight at finally teaming up with the Spaniard, who has admired him for some time.
He told Arsenal’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.
“I’m very excited for this new challenge, and I just can’t wait to be on the pitch to be honest! Everything has happened so fast. I was a bit surprised, but I took the opportunity of this amazing challenge.
“It’s an important shirt. It’s an amazing club, a big one, and I’m really excited and happy to be here.”
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