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Manchester City preparing to ‘push again’ for key summer defensive target but identify La Liga star as potential alternative



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Josko Gvardiol remains Manchester City’s key summer target to strengthen in defence, with Pep Guardiola preparing to press ahead with a four centre-back system.

The 21 year-old is one of two Croatian’s being targeted by Manchester City during this summer transfer window, as Pep Guardiola looks to add to his midfield and defence ahead of the new campaign in August.

Pep Guardiola is poised to add Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic to his treble-winning squad ahead of the new season, with attention now shifting to securing the signature of Josko Gvardiol, who could cost north of €100 million.

The RB Leipzig star impressed at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League in February, with the versatile defender able to play at centre-back and at left-back.

Gvardiol scored against City in a 1-1 draw in Germany, however the Blues demolished the Bundesliga club in the second-leg, winning 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

The 21 year-old is on the verge of agreeing personal terms with Manchester City according to Fabrizio Romano, who also reports that the Sky Blues are preparing to ‘push again’ in pursuit of the defender’s signature.

Gvardiol is described as a ‘top target’ of City’s, however negotiations will reportedly be needed, with RB Leipzig wanting ‘way more’ than the rumoured €80 million price tag.

The Croatian has a €110 million release clause which becomes active in 2024, and Romano claims that RB Leipzig are still hoping to keep hold of the defender.

Sam Lee reports that City are ‘very keen’ to sign Gvardiol, as Guardiola plans to press ahead with a tactical system which involves playing four centre-backs, as deployed in the UEFA Champions League Final.

RB Leipzig ‘do not want to sell’ the defender according to The Athletic, but could reportedly relent, should they receive an offer worth more than €100 million.

Should City fail to sign the Croatian, Sam Lee reports that Manchester City could turn their attention to Pau Torres, though signing Gvardiol is currently the club’s ‘sole focus’.

Any other Manchester City additions are expected to be based on departures, with the potential for the Blues to rival Arsenal for the signature of Declan Rice, should Ilkay Gundogan leave the club this summer.

City have also been linked with a potential new winger, with Phil Foden expected to occupy a central role next season.