Written By Onyeka Daniel
English Premier League champions, Manchester City have found an agreement for their second signing of this summer transfer window as they look to sign one of Pep Guardiola’s transfer request, Josko Gvardiol from German side, RB Leipzig. The Citizens have agreed a straight €90m fee for the Croatian defender.
The player was on the bench for his team’s friendly vs St Truiden today, watching from the stands, with City agreeing a fee ahead of a move to England. City have targeted Gvardiol all summer, with Leipzig putting a deadline on the transfer to go through before the start of their season in order to give them time to find a replacement.
The 21-year-old will now travel to Manchester for a medical at the end of this week and for terms to be agreed, although there is no timeframe on whether a deal will be completed before Sunday’s Community Shield.
The €90m (£77.5m) fee is below the £80m Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire in 2019, so Gvardiol won’t become the world’s most expensive defender, despite reports to the contrary. There are no add-ons to the deal, according to reports. Gvardiol will join his country man, Mateo Kovacic as a summer signing, taking City’s spending to £103m.
Commenting on his potential signing, Kovacic last week said that he would love for Gvardiol to join, saying: “I know he’s very young and has great potential. He can come here and learn and be the best version of himself, like he wants to be for sure.
“But it’s not for me to comment if it’s going to happen or not. I’d obviously like it – I’m a good friend with him and he’s Croatian. It would be nice to have a Croatian by my side here.
“He’s still young but he’s very mature for his age. He doesn’t need too much advice. He’s already played a lot of big games and I think he’s ready for this step. He had a great World Cup and a great season with RB Leipzig so it would be nice for him to join such a big club and try to improve even more.”
Owing to his young age, (21yrs), Gvardiol is expected to be at the heart of City’s defense for the next decade and a few years if he keeps performing at a high level just like he did to earn this move.
The treble winners may have signed a defender, even if they’re well stocked in that de5, but they’re having problem finding a quality replacement for Riyad Mahrez at the moment. The Algerian has sealed a move to Saudi Arabia last month and the club are looking at several targets to replace him.
The Citizens are expected to make a move for Belgian winger, Jérémy Doku as a replacement for Mahrez, but Spanish side, Barcelona are also interested in the tricky winger after losing Ousmane Dembele to PSG. Since joining Rennes from Anderlecht, the talented winger has been stealing the headlines in Ligue 1 and his price tag of €50m sits just right for both clubs.
Barcelona already have Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Lamine Yamal at the club, so a new right winger should not be high on the list of their priorities at this stage.It’s also unlikely that Barcelona will be able to compete with Man City for Doku, provided that the Premier League champions do pursue that deal. As a result, a move to Spain would make little sense.
While he’s different profile to both Mahrez and Dembele, he’s also very direct and manages to complete a number of take-ons. Apart from Doku, City are also monitoring Crystal Palace winger, Michel Olise, but there are reports that the Eagles are close to reaching an agreement with the youngster to renew his contract, so City would have to be fast if they hope to pick up Olise who is also of interest to Chelsea.
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