Manchester City, after having a successful treble-winning 2022-23 season, head into the summer transfer market with big cash ready to splash for bringing in new big names. Backed by the wealthy Abu Dhabi Investment Group, the Cityzens have already spent over $1.5 billion in transfer fees since the takeover in 2008.
It seems like Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is ready to spend big again, as manager Pep Guardiola targets RB Leipzig’s young defender Josko Gvardiol as a replacement for Aymeric Laporte should the Spanish defender decide to part ways in the summer transfer window.
Is Josko Gvardiol worth $100 million?
Bundesliga club RB Leipzig values the 21-year-old Croatian defender at a staggering $100 million, according to ESPN. Gvardiol only signed a new deal in September 2022 and is under contract until 2027. The dependable Fabrizio Romano stated last week that the talks between City and Gvardiol regarding personal terms were progressing well.
Gvardiol would become the most expensive defender in the world if his release clause, which is reported by Sky Sports to be set at a whopping $125 million, were to be activated. However, City appears set on signing him right now, so they will need to work out a price with Leipzig.
Manchester City will keep working on Joško Gvardiol deal next week. Talks will enter into advanced stages with Leipzig with new verbal bid. 🚨🔵 #MCFC
Exclusive story from yesterday: personal terms, 100% agreed. Gvardiol said yes.
Leipzig want at least €100m.
More to follow. pic.twitter.com/0nF6B3CvrZ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 25, 2023
The 21-year-old is one of the most promising center-backs in the world. He has been in sublime form ever since his debut with Leipzig in the 2021-22 season, and was one of the best defenders for Croatia in the 2022 World Cup, where he secured a third-place finish in the tournament.
Gvardiol has made a total of 6 blocks in season 2022/2023 and has won 89 aerial duels, 13 tackles, and other contests. It goes without saying that it is not surprising that RB Leipzig values him so highly.
How will Gvardiol fit into Pep Guardiola’s system?
Gvardiol is the kind of center-half who can support City’s out-of-back play. He is a defensive player who plays the ball well, which is ideal for Pep Guardiola’s style, and at 21, he will only become more prominent.
Due to the potential departure of Aymeric Laporte this summer, Guardiola might also be interested in Gvardiol. Football Insider reports that several clubs are interested in the Spain international and that City is willing to let him go.
That transfer has been in the bag for almost a year now, it was too obvious that he's going to sign for us
— 𝔰𝔩𝔞𝔳𝔬𝔦𝔡 (@slxvxid) June 24, 2023
However, with his arrival, Gvardiol will face steep competition from an already impressive defensive lineup that includes Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, John Stones, and Manuel Akanji.
Do you think the massive price tag for Gvardiol is justified? Share your thoughts down in the comments section.