Manchester City are interested in bringing RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol to the Etihad Stadium, an ‘outstanding player’ in the words of pundit Tam McManus.
The Lowdown: Gvardiol in Pep’s sights
As per Foot Mercato, Man City have submitted the biggest offer for Gvardiol so far, with a bid in excess of £85m, beating the £82m tabled by Chelsea and the £77m from Manchester United.
The Latest: McManus reacts
In an interview with Football Insider, McManus waxed lyrical about the defender, particularly because of his form with Croatia at the World Cup:
“Any player who plays that well in a World Cup is going to be linked with the biggest clubs in Europe.
“Obviously, Man City are one of those and he is at Leipzig at the moment. So I think they will be looking to get a big fee for him.
“The fee I have seen is £100million or £110million, something like that, a monster fee. He is a very, very good defender and he’s only 20.
“He’s coming off the back of a good World Cup so I think City will strike when the iron’s hot. It will be a huge outlay but he looks like an outstanding player.
“I was really impressed when I watched him.”
The Verdict: Worth it?
Given that Guardiola seems to be willing to break the British transfer record to win the race for the 20-year-old, it is vital that he possesses the talent to live up to that extraordinary price tag, but he is showing great signs for Leipzig and Croatia alike.
Former Arsenal centre-back Johan Djourou has recently lauded the youngster as a ‘huge monster‘, which is evidenced by his dominant displays for his national side in Qatar, achieving a 7.4 SofaScore rating in a 2-1 win against Morocco, the second-highest of any player on the pitch, making three interceptions and four clearances.
However, the real highlight of the colossus’ game was his passing range, which would make him perfect for a Guardiola system, completing 102 passes, 21 more than any other player, including six accurate long balls out of seven attempted.
Having averaged 86.16 passes attempted per 90 minutes over the past year, Gvardiol is in the 99th percentile, and this, coupled with his defensive acumen, would make him a phenomenal signing for Man City in January.
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