Manchester City edged closer to signing Napoli’s Jorginho as Manchester United decided to slow their persuit of the Italian, reports suggest.
The two rivals were believed to be in a tug of war over the midfielder, who has excelled at the Stadio San Paolo this season.
Now, according to the Manchester Evening News, Jose Mourinho has placed alternative targets ahead of the 26-year-old after instructing scouts to draw up a list of world class midfielders to replace the retiring Michael Carrick.
It is understood the Red Devils have been monitoring Fred, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Marco Verratti, Jean-Michael Seri and Arturo Vidal.
Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, is only looking to make minor changes to his record-breaking squad, including a long-term replacement for 33-year-old Fernandinho.
Jorginho is favourite to take that role and Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis believes he could drive the price as high at £60m, which would test City’s resolve after they backed out of moves for Virgil van Dijk, Alexis Sanchez, Fred and Riyad Mahrez in January.
But Guardiola is expected to have greater funds to spend on fewer targets this summer after making such dramatic changes to his squad in his first two years in Manchester.
With manager Maurizio Sarri’s future uncertain, the Napoli number eight could be one of many to leave the Serie A club over the coming months.