RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol says he used to dream of playing for Liverpool when he was a boy ahead of a potential transfer to the Premier League.
Gvardiol signed for the Bundesliga outfit from Dinamo Zagreb in in the summer of 2021 and has quickly established himself as a regular in their side.
The 20-year-old has played 66 times across all competitions over the last couple of seasons and he was one of the standout players at the World Cup as Croatia came third at the tournament.
Chelsea made a late €90m offer for Gvardiol at the end of the summer transfer window with the intention of loaning him back to Leipzig for the rest of the season – but the two clubs couldn’t come to an agreement.
The Blues are back in for Gvardiol in January with reports claiming they want him ‘as soon as possible’ but they could face competition from Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Although Liverpool are said to have ‘expressed an interest’ there seems little in the way of a concrete offer from Jurgen Klopp’s side.
However, if Liverpool decide to pursue Gvardiol then they could have an advantage over other teams with Gvardiol revealing that the Reds have “remained in my heart”.
Speaking about his future to RTLDanas, Gvardiol said: “I’m not in a hurry. I’m at Leipzig and we still have six months to finish the season and to win something. And then we will look further to the future.”
Gvardiol admits that a transfer to Chelsea almost happened in the last window, he added: “Last summer a transfer was close and they simply kept me. I hope to spend these six months with them [Leipzig]. Chelsea did not give up, but it was agreed that we would go for the winter.
“Winter has come, so we need to see what and how to proceed, but it’s okay, there’s still plenty of time, so we’ll see… Nobody presented anything to me. But I’m not in a hurry, we have time, let them arrange the plan and we’ll see.
When asked which club he wanted to play for as a boy, Gvardiola continued: “That would definitely be Liverpool. Since I was little, I watched a lot of Liverpool matches with my dad and we covered every season in detail. It is a club that has remained in my heart.”
Gvardiol produced a another great performance as Croatia beat Morocco 2-0 in the World Cup third-place play-off last month and it left BBC Sport pundits Jurgen Klinsmann and Alex Scott predicting a bright future.
Asked whether Gvardiola had “the world is at his feet”, Klinsmann replied: “Absolutely. What a kind of experience he takes with him now.
“And also getting his moment with Messi. Okay, best player in the world! Take that lesson and then move on and he showed that today.
“He shook it off and had a brilliant game again so there’s a lot more to come from Gvardiol.”
Scott added: “We’ve seen the 20-year-old centre-back again, the performance. His potential is just limitless. We’re seeing every aspect of his game and that’s what you always need.
“Because when we’re talking about teams and experience, and then you have people talking about, ‘no, the youngsters need to come through’, you always need that balance in a squad to blend it out.
“It’s easy for people to say, ‘bring the youngsters through’, but you need that.”
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