It is no secret that after winning only the second-ever continental treble for English clubs, Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola is ready to improve his squad for next season’s league and cup competitions. As soon as the summer transfer window was open, the 52-year-old manager signed former Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić to replace his outgoing City captain İlkay Gündoğan, who have departed for Spanish La Liga giant Barcelona, and the Spaniard now looks forward to bring Kovačić’s Croatia national team teammate, Joško Gvardiol, to his team in the upcoming days. In this regard, it has been reported that the 21-year-old is keen to seal a move to the Blue Side of Manchester this summer.
The Player Wants Manchester City Move
As one of the important members who helped Croatia achieve a third-placed finish in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Zagreb-born defender primarily plays as a centre-back, but could also be deployed to the left-back role. Besides, he has never shied away from expressing his desire to play in the English Premier League, and had a close audition for Pep Guardiola, when his RB Leipzig side took on Manchester City in last season’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The German Bundesliga 1 outfit may have been hammered by the eventual winner, Pep’s interests to bring Gvardiol to his squad has never declined.
According to RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl, it is confirmed that Gvardiol’s wishes for his next career stop is a Manchester City move, and the 49-year-old German had told a German newspaper that both Leipzig and Manchester City are engaging in talks to transfer the player to England. “Joško and his advisers have submitted the wish to us for a transfer to Manchester City. We are in talks with Manchester. There is nothing more to say about it at this moment” was Eberl’s statement.
Personal Terms Agreed
Upon the confirmation of Max Eberl on his potentially departing defender, it has been told that both Manchester City and Gvardiol had laid grounds for a long-term deal, with both sides having agreed on personal terms. But before Pep Guardiola can have the young centre-back at his disposal, Manchester City must first satisfy Leipzig’s tough asking price, as the German club wants its English counterpart to make the Croatian the most expensive centre-back ever in the history of football.
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Leipzig Wants €100 Million to Make Gvardiol the Most Expensive Centre-Back Ever
Despite mutual interests and favours from both sides, RB Leipzig will not let go of its priced player without a hefty transfer amount. While Manchester City is preparing its first official bid for the defender, the German club had already put forth an astronomical number of €100 million for Gvardiol and it is likely that Leipzig will not entertain any numbers that are not close to the price.
Such a lucrative price tag usually does not scare away an oil money-powered club like Manchester City, but should the Premier League champion does submit a €100-million proposal and Leipzig happen to sell Gvardiol to the former, football fans and spectators will be potentially looking at the Croatian as the most valuable centre-back ever in football since its inception.
[🚨] BREAKING: Leipzig director Eberl: Gvardiol and his agents gave us their desire to move to #ManCity. We are in talks with City for €100 million +, Gvardiol will end up In Pep’s hands. The value would make Guardiol the most expensive defender. It might take a few more days.” pic.twitter.com/vvfiTCF8S1
— City Zone (@City_Zone_) July 2, 2023
Who Are the Current Most Expensive Centre-Backs?
Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire tops this list for his move to the 13-time Premier League champion from the-now relegated Leicester City, and his €87-million transfer to the Red Devils has infamously gone to waste with the defender now no longer starting for the club on matchdays.
The rest of the top 9 featured Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax to Juventus for €85.5 million, Virgil van Dijk from Southampton to Liverpool for €84.65 million, Wesley Fofana from Leicester to Chelsea for €80.4 million, Lucas Hernandez from Atlético Madrid to Bayern Munich for €80 million, Rúben Dias from Benfica to Manchester City for €71.6 million, Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus to Bayern Munich for €67 million, Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Club to Manchester City for €65 million, Benjamin White from Brighton to Arsenal for €58.5 million and Lisandro Martínez from Ajax to Manchester United for €57.37 million.