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Manchester City now pressing ahead to sign £86 million versatile defender following Arsenal transfer defeat



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Treble winners Manchester City have refocussed their attentions towards signing RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, following defeat to Arsenal in the race for Declan Rice.

Etihad Stadium officials officially removed themselves from the pursuit of the England international midfielder on Wednesday morning, following Arsenal’s third bid worth a package of £105 million in total.

City had made one bid prior to that, offering £80 million plus a further £10 million in add-ons, but refused to budge on their own internal valuation following the Gunners’ response offer that was submitted on Tuesday night.

The Premier League champions remain very much active in the ongoing summer transfer window however, and a new report in light of the development concerning Declan Rice has revealed just where Manchester City will turn to next.

According to a report from MailSport, Manchester City are now pressing ahead in their work towards signing RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

Unlike their pursuit of a new central midfielder, and while their focus remains very much on sorting out possible outgoings in the first-team squad, Jack Gaughan reports that the pursuit of Gvardiol is not thought to be contingent on departures.

One possible barrier for Manchester City evade first however is RB Leipzig’s asking price for the Croatia international, as the Bundesliga side are claimed to be continuing to look for around £86 million for the 21-year-old.

City are still expected to contend with further departures from Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad, namely Aymeric Laporte – who is understood to be weighing up his options this summer in search of more consistent game time.

The former Athletic Bilbao defender is thought to be leaning towards a return to Spain, although financial constraints on a number of his more realistic options may hinder any possible proposal from coming to the table.

Elsewhere, Manchester City are also thought to be clarifying the respective situations of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, with the former open to the idea of taking up Bayern Munich on their interest.

The Portugal international has been keen on a Manchester City exit for a number of seasons now, and his summer transfer window has commanded interest from the Saudi Pro League and Paris Saint-Germain so far.