Manchester City and Real Madrid set to challenge Liverpool for 21-year-old star - Reports
Manchester City and Real Madrid have joined Liverpool in the race to sign RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol this summer, according to 90min.
Gvardiol was the subject of transfer interest from Premier League giants Chelsea last summer. The Blues pushed to sign him, but eventually failed in their efforts as they could not strike a deal with Leipzig.
The defender, meanwhile, has further grown his stature in recent months, especially with his performances for Croatia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He played every single minute for the nation as they finished third in the competition.
Gvardiol's performances for both club and country have seen him attract more transfer interest ahead of the summer. Liverpool have notably been credited with an interest in signing him ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Having struggled to maintain their usual standards this term, the Reds intend to bolster their squad significantly this summer. The midfield has long been identified as a major pain area for the club, but there are also suggestions that they could also strengthen their defense.
Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip are on the wrong side of 30, while Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez have struggled with fitness and form respectively. Liverpool are also tipped to sell Nathaniel Phillips at the end of the season.
Thus, there are suggestions that the Merseyside-based club could attempt to sign Gvardiol this summer. The Croatian is an ideal target for Jurgen Klopp's side as he is left-footed and just 21 years old.
However, the Reds face stiff competition for the central defender's signature. According to the aforementioned source, Manchester City and Real Madrid are also keen to sign Gvardiol.
Both clubs have reportedly identified the former Dinamo Zagreb man as their top defensive target for the summer. The defender could thus be at the center of a three-way transfer battle between Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Leipzig slap £75 million price tag on Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid target
Leipzig are under no pressure to sell Gvardiol as he is contracted to them until 2027. It would take a huge offer to tempt the Bundesliga outfit could to consider letting the defender go this summer.
As per the said report, the German club would demand a sum in the region of £75 million for Gvardiol. They notably acquired his services from Dinamo Zagreb for around £17 million in 2021.
It is unclear if Liverpool, Manchester City or Real Madrid will be prepared to pay £75 million for the youngster.
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