RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol could reportedly join Manchester City this summer, alongside fellow Croatia international Mateo Kovacic.
The 21-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best young defenders in Europe. He has also emerged as a key target for Liverpool.
While RB Leipzig will not let Gvardiol go easily, a summer departure now looks likely. Indeed, the youngster is set to tell the German club that he wants to leave, according to the Times.
This has caught the attention of Man City, who could use the arrival of Kovacic to help convince Gvardiol to join them over other competitors.
As reported by Football365, the Chelsea midfielder is ‘really close’ to agreeing personal terms with the Cityzens.
Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino is expected to offload several players this summer as he looks to trim his oversized squad.
Now, with Kovacic having just one year remaining on his contract, he looks destined to join up with Pep Guardiola at Man City.
The midfielder could prove to be an excellent addition, especially given the potential departure of Ilkay Gundogan.
But, some reports have suggested that the Premier League champions are only signing Kovacic so that they can win the battle for Gvardiol this summer.
This is according to Football Transfers (via TEAMtalk), who claim that the Chelsea star might just be being used ‘bait’ to lure Gvardiol to the Etihad.
With Aymeric Laporte looking set to depart Man City this summer, Guardiola is currently on the hunt for defensive additions.
Now, with Gvardiol looking like he could become available, he could prove to be the ideal replacement for the Spaniard.
This season, the centre-back has made 30 Bundesliga appearances, scoring one goal and helping Leipzig to eight clean sheets.
Gvardiol has also played a key role in Leipzig’s cup run, with the German giants set to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the final of the DFB-Pokal on Saturday.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Guardiola interested in signing the Croatian colossus.
However, as mentioned, Man City are not the only team in the race for Gvardiol.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is believed to be a huge admirer of the defender, for example.
The Reds’ new sporting director Jorg Schmadtke has Gvardiol at the top of his transfer shortlist. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Liverpool table an offer for the defender.
But, Gvardiol won’t come cheap, with Leipzig slapping an £87m price tag on their star man.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Man City or Liverpool are willing to meet that fee.