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Josko Gvardiol to Chelsea transfer: Price revealed, release clause, Messi role, Man City talks



Chelsea transfer news: The latest on the Blues’ attempts to sign RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol, who played a starring role in Croatia’s journey to the semi-finals of the World Cup

Chelsea continue to be linked with a move for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol
Chelsea continue to be linked with a move for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol

Chelsea remain in the market for new defenders despite spending £70million on Wesley Fofana, £40million for Kalidou Koulibaly and £50million on Marc Cucurella over the summer. Having lost both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger for free, the Blues still face plenty of backline changes.

Graham Potter has continued to work with a back three on the whole but ended Premier League push before the World Cup break with just five fit defenders after a plague of injuries ran through the squad. On top of depth issues on the right and ageing legs for Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, Thomas Tuchel was keen to bring an extra body through the door.

One of the men he highlighted for that position was 20-year-old Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig. The Croatian defender has been in brilliant form for his country in Qatar and has demonstrated why the Blues were eager to get a deal done last summer. Todd Boehly came close to agreeing a fee for the aggressive centre-back before he agreed a new deal keeping him in Germany until 2027.

With Chelsea looking to remain active in all their business dealings throughout the year in anticipation of the transfer window, here’s the latest on their pursuit for Gvardiol.

Chelsea learn price

Chelsea will have to make RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol the most expensive defender in history if they are to sign the Croatia international in January, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, the Romano said: “Now, Leipzig want way more than €90million. They hope to go for more than €100million to make Gvardiol the most expensive centre-back ever.

“Chelsea are still working on it. They are still in contact with people close to the player and Leipzig.”

2024 release clause

Chelsea’s transfer pursuit of RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol has taken a significant turn following the that a significant release clause in the 20-year-olds contract will become active in 2024.

As confirmed by Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenburg following an initial report from Yvonne Gabriel, Gvardiol will see a €110million (£96million) release clause in his contract become active in 2024.

Messi influence

In Croatia’s 3-0 World Cup semi-final defeat to Argentina, Gvardiol was the victim of an inspiring run as Lionel Messi set-up Julian Alvarez goal. However, Jurgen Klinsmann and Micah Richards have backed the Chelsea target.

Klinsmann said: “This is one of the experiences he takes with him now. Also getting his moment with Messi, OK, I will take that lesson and move on and he showed that today, he shook it off and had a brilliant game against [Morocco]. There’s a lot more to come from Gvardiol.”

Richards backed fellow defender Gvardiol for his performance, highlighting Messi’s quality. “Messi could do that to absolutely anyone,” Richards added. “Look at the angles, you can be absolutely perfect but then Messi, his acceleration was so quick. You can’t blame him.”

Huge bid made

Chelsea continue to be linked with a move for Josko Gvardiol, however they may have to move quickly to secure a deal in the transfer window. That’s because Foot Mercato reports that Manchester City have tabled a €110million (£95million) bid for the left-footed defender, which would make him the most expensive player in that position in history.

The 20-year-old is said to have had offers from the Blues and Manchester United too at roughly £81million, however Pep Guardiola is looking to cut out any competition with a big bid.

Pep Guardiola talks

According to Foot Mercato, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has taken it upon himself to convince the Croatian to join his project. City, along with Manchester United, are interested in the defender and are planning to take advantage of his stock as well as their money reserves.

The report states that the champions are prepared to make him the most expensive defender ever with a bid worth over £90m, as well as the added bonus of loaning him back to Leipzig in January to sweeten the deal. City do already have a stacked central defence but were willing to let Nathan Ake leave last season.

If they truly enter the race and Guardiola sees something he fancies in Gvardiol, then it will make Chelsea’s challenge much harder to complete.

Real Madrid bid

Part of the reason Chelsea were so keen to move for Gvardiol in the summer was to get ahead of their competitors, similar to how they jumped the queue for Christopher Nkunku. Now, with nothing possible until next summer, at the earliest, European champions Real Madrid have made their own intentions clear, according to Alfredo Pedulla.

The Spanish giants reportedly have £80million ready to bid for the youngster, but may need to go as high as £90million in order to prize him away from Germany.

His agent speaks out

Given that Gvardiol is now a World Cup quarter finalist – upon writing – his stock continues to rise, and his agent has issued an update on where his future lays.

“We are not in a hurry,” Marjan Sisic said. “And I can make clear that there are no pre-agreements with any clubs.” Chelsea have already snapped up Nkunku with a deal agreed ahead of a move next year, but nothing of the such appears to exist for Gvardiol, who Fabrizio Romano reported was set to join Chelsea last summer ahead of spending this season back on loan in Leipzig.

Release clause

Unfortunately for Chelsea, it is also believed that no release clause currently exists for Gvardiol until 2027. With their current defensive predicament, a move in the shorter term is still favoured and Potter, Boehly and Co. are unlikely to be patient enough to wait for that to kick in.

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