Why are Premier League clubs desperate to sign Josko Gvardiol?

Josko Gvardiol is one of the hottest prospects in European football, and it is no surprise that he is attracting interest from several top clubs.

The Croatian defender signed a new contract with RB Leipzig in September 2021, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors about his potential move to a bigger club.

The deal ties him to the Bundesliga outfit until 2027, but a release clause of £97million ($118m) is set to become active in the summer of 2024.

Gvardiol’s stock has been rising since he helped Croatia finish third at the World Cup in Qatar.

He has already been linked with several top clubs, with Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool among those interested in securing his signature.

Chelsea were the club most keenly interested in the defender last summer, but the two parties failed to agree on a fee.

The initial discussions started at €70million (£60.5million) but rose to €80m and finally €90m, before ultimately collapsing.

Instead, the Blues signed Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile for less money than what Gvardiol would have cost.

Despite the failed move, Chelsea’s interest in the Croatian has not diminished. The struggles of Kalidou Koulibaly in his debut season in the Premier League have led to speculations that the Blues might try to sign Gvardiol in the summer.

Gvardiol’s impressive performances on the field have caught the attention of Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, and the director of football at the Premier League champions, Txiki Begiristain.

There have been informal talks between the two parties.

Gvardiol’s nickname, ‘Little Pep,’ is mainly a nod to the similarities between his surname and Pep Guardiola’s, although it also echoed their playing careers.

The Croatian began his career as a central midfielder, just like Guardiola.

City have already enquired about the defender’s availability in the past, and given the chance to sign a player of his quality, they would undoubtedly be in the mix for his signature.

However, City already have five senior centre-backs on their books, which means that one of them would have to leave before they can sign Gvardiol. Aymeric Laporte would be the most likely candidate for an exit.

Liverpool is another club that is interested in the Croatian defender.

The Reds’ recruitment figures have been closely tracking his development, and they also have a good relationship with Leipzig, having bought Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate from them in the past.

However, Liverpool’s transfer priorities lie elsewhere, with strengthening their midfield department being their primary focus this summer.

Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice centre-back partnership remains Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Nathaniel Phillips providing backup.

Matip will enter the final year of his contract this summer, and Phillips is expected to leave in search of regular game time. L

iverpool may need to bring in another centre-back as cover, but it is unlikely to be Gvardiol, given the competition for his signature.

Despite the interest from several top clubs, Leipzig is in no hurry to sell their star defender.

They signed him from Dinamo Zagreb back in 2021, and their then-sporting director Markus Krosche announced that “we have signed one of the best defensive talents in Europe.”

Head coach Marco Rose has also stated that he wants Gvardiol to stay, and the Croatian has expressed his happiness at the club.

He has stated his desire to play in the Premier League, but he hasn’t specified when he wants to make the move.

Whether or not Gvardiol moves this summer remains to be seen.

The promising young center-half has caught the attention of several top European clubs.

His performances at Leipzig have shown that he has the talent to succeed at the highest level.

While his current contract ties him to Leipzig until 2027, few expect him to see it out, and a move to one of Europe’s top clubs seems increasingly likely.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

You may Also Like

IPL nuggets: Meet the ‘Ferrari’ of Rajasthan Royals

What's with the name, eh? Well, in a recent Instagram post, the spin pair of Rajasthan Royals, Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal posted a picture with...

IPL nuggets: Josh Hazlewood still injured, leaves RCB anxious

Josh Hazlewood will not be available to Royal Challengers Bangalore for the initial stages of IPL 2023 as he continues to recover from an...

IPL: Preview Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is all set to begin on March 31, with defending champions Gujarat Titans taking on Chennai Super Kings...