Chelsea target hints at imminent transfer after €90m summer bid – ‘maybe one day I’ll be there’

Lewis Oldham
Chelsea target Gvardiol

RB Leipzig and Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol has spoken openly about the reported interest in him from Premier League side Chelsea.

The 20-year-old signed for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb before the 2021/22 campaign.

The centre-back hit the ground running in Germany as he has established himself as one of the best young players in Europe.

Gvardiol is already setting himself up for a major move elsewhere, with Chelsea linked with him in the summer.

The Blues spent big during the summer to bolster their defence. This was needed as they lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona respectively.

Back at Chelsea, they invested heavily to sign Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly.

This seemingly did not satisfy Chelsea though as it emerged near the end of the window that they had submitted a €90m offer to sign Gvardiol.

Had this transfer been completed, the defender would have been loaned back to RB Leipzig before he linked up with Chelsea in 2023.

As we know now, this deal did not come to fruition and he later signed a contract extension with RB Leipzig that will keep him at the club until 2027.

Gvardiol was part of the Croatia side that drew 0-0 with Belgium on Thursday. This was enough to send the 2018 World Cup finalists through to the knockout stages.

After the game, he was asked by David Ornstein about Chelsea’s interest in him.

“About me and Chelsea? I don’t know. You know what happened in the last few months. To be honest, I have no idea,” Gvardiol told The Athletic.

“My agent is taking care of this and we will see. Right now, I’m happy in Leipzig. I don’t know, we will see – you never know.

“You know the stories and these things, but all I can say is that I’m happy in Leipzig and right now I’m going to stay there and perform for them.”

He added: “[Chelsea are] a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there. It’s really nice to see things like this, especially because there is [Mateo] Kovacic, so you never know. I talk with him.

“Even to be here on this, the biggest event, it’s a big thing for me at 20 years old so I’m happy. I have to think about it.”

Speaking last month, former Man Utd interim boss Ralf Rangnick revealed that he called for them to sign Gvardiol.

“We were already discussing players like Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig. Those were names that were realistic.

“We also talked about Alvaro Morata, Luis Diaz, Dusan Vlahovic and, as I said, [Erling] Haaland when they were still on the market. But the club decided at that time to rebuild the team under the new coach.”

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