Manchester City are on the verge of signing RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, but what shirt numbers could be available to the Croatian when he finally puts pen to paper on his Etihad contract?
Following significant developments in negotiations over the last 48 hours, Manchester City have now agreed a £78 million deal for the 21-year-old defender, as manager Pep Guardiola seeks to further strengthen his treble-winning squad ahead of the new campaign.
The Croatia international could become the third major exit from the Bundesliga club this summer, with the German side initially holding out for a record-breaking €100 million fee for the centre-back, who has a €110 million release clause which becomes active next year.
Josko Gvardiol made 30 Bundesliga appearances across the course of last season, and impressed many onlookers with his performances at the most recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar, including Manchester City.
The defender also scored against City in the UEFA Champions League, netting an equaliser back in February during a first-leg 1-1 draw in Germany, before succumbing to an Erling Haaland-inspired 7-0 defeat in the return-leg.
Gvardiol moved to RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb back in 2021, and the club’s director revealed during the earlier stages of this particular saga that the defender had informed the Bundesliga club of his ‘desire’ to move to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Should the 21-year-old finally move to the reigning Premier League and European champions, then he would have at least 10 shirt numbers to pick from, with the potential for other squad numbers to become available amid the possibility for several players to leave Manchester City this summer.
Squad numbers 1, 11, 12, 15, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 are all currently vacant, and given the uncertainty surrounding Joao Cancelo, Zack Steffen, and Aymeric Laporte, the numbers 7, 13 and 14 could all potentially become available too.
Josko Gvardiol currently wears the number 32 shirt at RB Leipzig, a number held by young Manchester City midfielder Maximo Perrone at present, after he joined the club back in January and made two first-team appearances during the second-half of the campaign.
Mateo Kovacic, who signed from Chelsea for £25 million earlier in the window, selected the number 8 shirt, previously held by the outgoing club captain Ilkay Gundogan, who moved to Barcelona on a free transfer after seven years at the club.
The number 23 shirt number was retired by Manchester City in 2003 as a mark of respect to the late midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe.
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