RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol has reportedly ‘asked to leave the club’ so he can ‘join Manchester City’ this summer.
The 21-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best young defenders in Europe. So, it’s no surprise to see Pep Guardiola interested in him.
Man City are also expected to lose one of their main centre-backs this summer. Therefore, the manager will need to bring in a replacement for him.
Indeed, as reported by Football365, Aymeric Laporte is keen on a return to Spain, despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
As a result, the need for Man City to bring in Gvardiol – their top defensive target – has just become more pressing.
Now, it seems the Croatia international is also trying to push through a move to the Etihad this summer.
This is according to SZ Sport, who claim that Gvardiol has ‘officially informed RB Leipzig that he wants to join Manchester City.’
This comes after Gvardiol has reportedly ‘agreed personal terms’ with the Cityzens. So, the only thing left to negotiate is a transfer fee.
However, the German club will not let the defender go cheaply and have slapped a €100m (approx. £86m) price tag on him.
If that price is met, he will become the most expensive defender of all time, surpassing Harry Maguire, who Manchester United bought for £80m.
Last season, Gvardiol made 41 appearances across all competitions for RB Leipzig. In the process, he helped keep 14 clean sheets and scored three goals.
Also, he already has 21 caps for Croatia under his belt. So, there is no doubt that he can perform at the highest level.
But, while Gvardiol is Guardiola’s preferred target, he is not the only defender on Man City’s radar.
Recent reports suggest the Cityzens are interested in signing Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae.
The South Korea international is close on agreeing a move to Bayern Munich. However, Man City have allegedly made a last-minute attempt to hijack the deal.
Min-jae would be a significantly cheaper addition than Gvardiol, too. This is due to a release clause in his contract, which means he can be bought for £42m.
Manchester United were previously ‘close’ to signing Min-jae. However, it now seems they have pulled out of negotiations.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Man City make a record-breaking offer for Gvardiol. Or, if they attempt to hijack Bayern Munich’s deal for Min-jae at the eleventh hour.