EXCLUSIVE: Man City using Kovacic as Gvardiol bait

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • 1 Jun 2023 11:15 BST
  • 3 min read
Man City want to sign Mateo Kovavic and Josko Gvardiol
© ProShots

Manchester City are ready to move for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol this summer, FootballTransfers has been told by sources.

Pep Guardiola sees the Croatia international, who starred in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as he played a leading role in a third-placed finish for his nation, as the ideal successor to Aymeric Laporte, who is likely to depart at the end of the season.

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Chelsea and Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the player this summer, with the Blues having gone close to landing the promising youngster in 2022.

City have already opened talks to sign Gvardiol’s Croatia teammate Mateo Kovacic in the summer. Positive discussions took place with player’s camp in the last few days over personal terms, FootballTransfers has been informed. This deal would make any move for Gvardiol smoother.

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Josko Gvardiol has been linked to Chelsea and Liverpool
© ProShots - Josko Gvardiol has been linked to Chelsea and Liverpool

Kovacic transfer to help Gvardiol

Part of Guardiola’s thinking behind the potential arrival of Kovacic would be to help Gvardiol settle in Manchester. The 29-year-old, who is out of contract in 2024, would also make the club more attractive to the young defender, who is also capable of playing at left-back.

FootballTransfers has been told that Gvardiol has become an important target to strengthen Pep Guardiola’s squad for next season because of his ability to play in a number of positions along the back line.

The Croatian hard man is expected to cost around €85 million, which would typically been seen as an inflated price by Man City, but with departures expected in the form of Laporte and Bernardo Silva, City reaching an agreement on this figure is not out of the question.

Gvardiol has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €70m, with the €85m figure inside the value range of the player, suggesting that both Leipzig, who are in need of balancing the books this summer, and Man City would be getting a fair deal around this price point.

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