‘Generational’ centre-back is wanted by Manchester City

Josko Gvardiol, RB Leipzig (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Josko Gvardiol, RB Leipzig (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images) /

In-demand Josko Gvardiol is widely regarded as one of the most impressive upcoming talents in the defensive position, now wanted by Manchester City.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Premier League side Manchester City want to sign RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol this summer. Romano adds that City manager Pep Guardiola is a massive fan of the Croatian centre-back and is on the club’s list of targets for this summer.

Liverpool is reportedly also an admirer of Gvardiol while Chelsea who pushed his signature last summer remains in the hunt.

Josko Gvardiol at just 21 has established himself as one of the most sought-after defenders in the entire world. Per Times Sport, Gvardiol has hinted that he wants to play in the Premier League someday but that “someday” could come as soon as this summer.

Josko Gvardiol is an academy product of the famous Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb where he spent just 2 seasons as a professional before making the switch to Germany with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in 2021. In his first season with Leipzig, he won the DFB Pokal, beating Freiburg in the final on penalties.

2022 was an eventful year for Gvardiol as he also suited up for Croatia at the World Cup. Outstandingly, Gvardiol played every single minute for Croatia en route to 3rd place honours for the tiny nation of just 3.8 million people.

Now in his second season with Leipzig, Gvardiol and Leipzig have reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League and are currently tied on aggregate with Manchester City, 1-1. Gvardiol scored a 70th-minute equalizer against Pep Guardiola’s side at Red Bull Arena.

Who is ultimately in the best position to sign Josko Gvardiol?

There will be a battle for the signature of Gvardiol soon whether it is this summer or next January. Liverpool’s ability to enter into actual talks with the player will likely be dependent on the available funds for the club next summer. Gvardiol will come with a hefty price tag and Leipzig has plenty of leverage given Gvardiol’s current contract runs until 2027. It seems more likely the club will prioritize Jude Bellingham than Gvardiol.

Chelsea seemingly has been interested in half of Europe and thus cannot be counted out of the race. With that said, Chelsea originally seemed close to signing Josko Gvardiol back in August of 2022 but they ended up going with a much cheaper option. Given the amount of money the club has spent since then, even if the money is not a problem, financial fair play regulations may be.

Manchester City have their financial fair play problems to deal with but should those go away or not affect how they conduct transfer business, they make the most sense. Even then, Manchester City already has 5 centre-backs, Dias, Stones, Laporte, Ake and Akanji, with none of their contracts coming close to expiration. Ake can play left-back and will likely play there a lot more with Joao Cancelo going to Bayern. Regardless, the club would likely have to make a decision on letting someone leave should Gvardiol join.

Do you think Manchester City will sign Josko Gvardiol?