Man City close in on signing of Liverpool, Tottenham target in world record transfer

Joe Williams
Josko Gvardiol with Manchester City badge
Man City are interested in signing Josko Gvardiol.

Man City are closing in on the signing of RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol in a world record deal for a defender.

The Citizens are looking to bring in a new centre-back this summer with Pep Guardiola now moving quickly to secure the Croatia international.

Man City are now on the brink of making Gvardiola the most expensive defender in world football history with RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl confirming a deal of at least €100m (£86m) is close to being agreed.

Neighbours Man Utd were the last club to break the record purchase of a defender when they spent £85m on England international Harry Maguire.

And Eberl has now revealed: “Gvardiol and his agents gave us their desire to move to Manchester City. We are in talks with City.

“Yes, for €100 million plus bonuses, Gvardiol will end up in Pep’s strong hands. The value of the deal would make Gvardiol the most expensive defender in history. But it might take a few more days.”

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Arsenal eye two Man City stars as Newcastle plan loan deals for England duo

Gvardiol, who has also been linked with Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, revealed in February that he thought about quitting football as a teenager to sell fish instead.

The centre-back told The Times: “I was 16 or 17 and still on the bench in the youth teams. I was frustrated and, at one moment, I was thinking to leave football.

“[Selling fish?] By the way, I hate fish. Imagine being 16 years old and there’s only fish to eat every day at home. I want to try something else.

“I don’t know what happened but then afterwards I started to play and they finally saw something in me, my quality, and in one year I moved to Dinamo Zagreb’s second team.

“In six months I was in the first team with [now-RB Leipzig team-mate] Dani Olmo.”

He also claimed he could’ve joined Leeds United before choosing Leipzig, he added: “I had two options, Leeds and Leipzig. Bielsa was the coach and my goal in my career is to play in the Premier League.

“[But] I knew I needed to take a few steps more before I get there one day.”

Man City have offered Kyle Walker a new contract but they are waiting to hear back from the England international as he ponders a potential move to Bundesliga side Bayern Munich,

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “I think this is also going to be a crucial week for Kyle Walker. Manchester City are insisting to extend his contract, they have submitted a proposal to Kyle but are still waiting for his answer.

“I’m told Thomas Tuchel has also been pushing to bring Kyle to Bayern during the weekend – he considers Walker as a perfect player for Bayern’s system and technical project. This week is expected to be the time for a new round of talks with both, and then a decision.”