Manchester City’s hunt for a new midfielder continues and they are considering Mario Lemina or Mateo Kovacic as alternatives to signing Jorginho, according to Sky Sports.
The Citizens are still keen on the Napoli midfielder as manager Pep Guardiola looks to revamp his midfield ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
With Yaya Toure leaving the club, City are short in this area of the field, and have only Fernandinho as a specialist defensive midfielder.
Jorginho is versatile enough to cover this position, act as a deep-lying playmaker and play in a more advanced role.
However, Sky Sports claim that although talks are at an advanced stage, City are unwilling to wait for more than seven days for a response to their latest offer, rumoured to be in the region of £50 million.
Therefore, Guardiola and his team are now considering other options with Southampton’s Lemina and Real Madrid’s Kovacic among the players they could pursue.
Gabon international Lemina has previously spent time with Lorient, Marseille and Juventus.
Southampton’s record signing scored once in 25 appearances last term, notching the winner in a vital 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Arguably more versatile than Jorginho, Lemina is a similarly energetic and stylish midfielder who can also play on the wing or as a fullback.
When he joined Southampton at the start of last season, he signed a five-year contract at St Mary’s, meaning City would have to pay a hefty fee to take him north.
And as they proved with Virgil Van Dijk’s switch to Liverpool, the Saints are not afraid to hold on to players until the buying club meets their valuation
Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s Kovacic, a three-time Champions League winner, would bring considerable experience of playing at the highest level to the Etihad Stadium.
The 24-year-old Croatia international could also be deployed as an attacking midfielder or winger if required and having made fewer appearances for Los Blancos this season than last, he could be tempted by a move.
Nevertheless, like Lemina, Kovacic has a long-term contract with Real and although he was an unused substitute in the Champions League final, he is clearly seen as a player with a future at the club, so he would not come cheap.