RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed Josko Gvardiol has requested to join Manchester City as talks between the clubs continue.
Treble-winning City want reinforcements at the back and were told by the Bundesliga club late in June that a world record fee for a defender would be required for a sale to be facilitated. Interest from Pep Guardiola’s side dates back to April.
Leipzig have already lost key first team stars like Christopher Nkunku, Konrad Laimer and Dominik Szoboszlai this summer. The departure of Gvardiol, who started 24 league games as his side came third behind champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, would be another hefty blow to the spine of last season’s team.
“Gvardiol and his agents gave us their desire to move to Manchester City. We are in talks with City,” Eberl told LVZ.
READ MORE FROM THE 90MIN TALKING TRANSFERS TEAM
“Yes, for €100m plus bonuses, Gvardiol will end up in Pep’s strong hands. The value of the deal would make Gvardiol the most expensive defender in history. But it might take a few more days.”
That transfer fee would eclipse the £80m forked out by local rivals Manchester United to Leicester for Harry Maguire back in 2019. Gvardiol had previously been wanted by Chelsea last year but no agreement was ever reached before he signed a new contract with Leipzig.
His arrival would add to Guardiola’s strength in central defence. Consistent roles were found for Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and John Stones throughout the successful 2022/23 campaign, while Aymeric Laporte often warmed the bench or featured in lower stakes outings.
City confirmed the arrival of Croatia international midfielder Mateo Kovacic before club captain Ilkay Gundogan’s free transfer to Barcelona upon the expiry of his contract.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth, Graeme Bailey and Sean Walsh to discuss Mason Mount’s impending move to Man Utd, Arsenal’s various deals, Liverpool’s pursuit of Dominik Szoboszlai and more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!