Manchester City have already seen a €50 million (£44m/$59m) bid for Jorginho rejected and expect the battle to land the Napoli midfielder to run until deadline day.
The Premier League leaders had been hoping to get an early deal in place for the Italy international, with Goal having revealed how Pep Guardiola has made the 26-year-old a top target .
City are, however, facing resistance in their efforts to get a big-money transfer pushed through, with an initial approach having been rebuffed.
Alberto Galassi, a board member at the Etihad Stadium, concedes that a protracted pursuit could now drag on through the summer as there is no obvious end in sight.
He told Sky Sport Italia of the scramble to secure Jorginho’s signature: “He is one of the players we like, we never disguised that. However, [Napoli president Aurelio] De Laurentiis knows the value of his players and is very good at negotiations.
“We are a fair club, we do not go against the wishes of other clubs or try to approach players without first agreeing terms with their club.
“One thing is for sure, if there is a deal, it’ll be at suitable terms for both clubs.
“I personally believe if this is done, it’ll be a few hours before the transfer deadline, which in a World Cup year is always going to be unusual.”
De Laurentiis revealed recently that he had snubbed an offer from City for Jorginho worth €45m up front and €5 in bonuses.
While he is prepared to shun offers for now and push up the asking price for a prized asset, the midfielder’s agent has admitted that a move to England would be difficult for his client to turn down .
Joao Santos told Tuttomercatoweb : "If Napoli find an agreement with City, we will assess everything.
"Obviously, Manchester City would be very welcome, an opportunity not to be turned down. The coach is one of the best in Europe."