Josko Gvardiol has sought to join Manchester City, according to RB Leipzig sports director Max Eberl, as negotiations between the teams continue.
The Bundesliga club informed treble-winners City late in June that a world record sum for the Croatian defender would be necessary to secure the transfer deal, and as City is desperately in need of defensive reinforcements, since April, Pep Guardiola’s team has shown serious interest in Gvardiol.
This summer, Leipzig has already lost significant first-team players including Dominik Szoboszlai, Konrad Laimer, and Christopher Nkunku. Another major blow would be the loss of Gvardiol, who started 24 league games when his team finished third behind champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Should Gvardiol end up moving to Manchester for £100m including incentives, he would become the most expensive defender in history. The £80 million local rival Manchester United paid Leicester for Harry Maguire in 2019 would be surpassed by that transfer sum. Gvardiol was sought after by Chelsea last year, but no deal was ever finalised before he committed to Leipzig under a new contract.
His presence would strengthen Guardiola’s defence in the centre. Throughout the 2022–23 season, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, and John Stones all had regular roles, while Aymeric Laporte frequently warmed the bench or played in lower-stakes matches.
Mateo Kovacic, a midfielder for Croatia, officially joined City before club captain Ilkay Gundogan left on a free transfer to Barcelona after his contract expired.