Manchester City and RB Leipzig remain locked in negotiations for defender Josko Gvardiol, with growing confusion surrounding the deal.
The 21-year-old centre-back remains Pep Guardiola’s key summer target, as the Catalan seeks to strengthen his defence ahead of the start of the new campaign next month.
Gvardiol, who starred for Croatia at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and helped RB Leipzig to the DFB Pokal last season, featured in 41 matches for the German club.
The versatile defender also impressed against Manchester City, scoring the equalising goal in the UEFA Champions League last-16 first-leg tie at the Red Bull Arena in February.
Gvardiol has a €110 million release clause which becomes active next year, and despite Fabrizio Romano’s claims that Manchester City and RB Leipzig had agreed a deal on Wednesday, both clubs have denied suggestions of any agreement.
Simon Mullock reports that the treble-winners have been informed that they will have to pay RB Leipzig’s record-breaking £87 million price tag, with manager Pep Guardiola becoming ‘frustrated’ by the Blues’ refusal to pay the asking price for the Croatia international.
Fabrizio Romano claims that a deal is still on – despite ‘tension’ during the final stages of negotiations – which prevented the 21-year-old from being able to complete a medical ahead of a proposed move to the Etihad Stadium.
The journalist claims that ‘issues’ emerged after leaked information that Manchester City and RB Leipzig had reached a verbal agreement.
Despite Gvardiol previously agreeing personal terms with the Blues, RB Leipzig are still considering the potential for the defender to remain in east Germany next season, with the Croatian currently in Austria for a pre-season training camp.
An agreement is ‘not in sight’ according to Florian Plettenberg, as the Sky Germany reporter claims that RB Leipzig continue to hold out for a €100m fee plus realistic add-ons.
“Josko [Gvardiol] is one of our players and as far as I know he will remain one of our players,” said Rose during an interview.
“I don’t know anything about a medical check, nothing about a first and nothing about a second. I think if it was, I would know as head coach!”
RB Leipzig director Max Eberl also spoke to the German media about Gvardiol, and said: “There is no agreement with Manchester City. Not even close.
“The fact is that Manchester City would like to have him. Currently we are still very far apart.
“The transfer of [Dominik] Szoboszlai has secured us financially. We don’t need the money. We would prefer Josko [Gvardiol] to stay.”
City continue their pre-season preparations in Asia, with a friendly against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, following a win in Japan over Yokohama F. Marinos on Sunday.
Mateo Kovacic made his debut for the Sky Blues during the 5-3 victory, with the 29-year-old currently City’s only incoming so far this summer.
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