RB Leipzig have confirmed that they are involved in discussions with Manchester City surrounding centre-back Josko Gvardiol, with a deal for the defender reportedly close.
The Bundesliga club, who have already lost key midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool and Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea, could be set for another major first-team departure this summer, amid Manchester City’s strong interest in Josko Gvardiol.
The 21 year-old scored against the Sky Blues in the UEFA Champions League in February and starred for Croatia at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar this winter.
Gvardiol made 30 Bundesliga appearances last season and also helped RB Leipzig to the DFB Pokal, making five showings in the competition despite missing the final against Frankfurt last month due to suspension.
The Croatian defender moved to Germany from Dinamo Zagreb, where the 21 year-old has continued to impress and as a result be linked with a move to the Premier League.
Gvardiol has a €110 million release clause which becomes active in 2024, however Manchester City are reportedly ‘close’ to signing the centre-back this summer, having stepped up their pursuit of the defender, according to Paul Joyce.
Matteo Moretto reports that the Blues are in ‘advanced negotiations’ with RB Leipzig for the 21 year-old, with the Premier League and European champions wanting to finalise the signing as soon as possible.
The Bundesliga club’s director, Max Eberl, has also confirmed the reports and revealed that Gvardiol has informed RB Leipzig of his ‘desire’ to move to the Etihad Stadium.
“I can confirm that Joško Gvardiol and agents told us about their desire to move to Manchester City.
“His desire is to join Manchester City. We are in talks with City. For €100M plus add ons, Joško will end up in Pep’s strong hands. This would make Gvardiol the most expensive defender in history.”
Gvardiol would become the second Croatian international to sign for City this summer, with midfielder Mateo Kovacic having already completed a £25 million move from Chelsea.
The signing of the 21 year-old would also add further uncertainty to the future of Aymeric Laporte, who has been linked with a possible exit from the club after a lack of minutes last season.
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