Manchester City have held conversations with RB Leipzig about signing Josko Gvardiol, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Lowdown: Man City’s Gvardiol interest
Foot Mercato claimed that the bidding had only just begun for the Croatian when the Premier League champions tabled an offer exceeding €100m (£85m) for him earlier this month, and the Sky Blues’ interest does not seem to have lessened.
The Daily Mirror recently reported (via Sky Sports) that Pep Guardiola is willing to go as high as £110m to secure the centre-back’s signature , and now it appears as though the move is advancing to the next stage…
The Latest: Romano’s update
Romano has said that both Manchester City and Real Madrid have had “conversations” about signing the defender, but added that a move might not be in the offing until the summer.
He told GIVEMESPORT in relation to Gvardiol: “Manchester City and Real Madrid, they also had some conversations. My feeling is that Man City and Real Madrid are interested for next summer, so to prepare something for next summer.”
The Verdict: Worth it?
One of the most important aspects of the Croatian’s well-rounded game is his ability to pick out a pass, with an average of 86.16 per game per over the past year ranking him in the 99th percentile compared to his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues.
As such, the 20-year-old would be able to seamlessly transition into Guardiola’s style of play, while he also has the defensive qualities to go along with his passing range, averaging 1.82 interceptions per game in the same period, placing him in the 83rd percentile among top-level centre-backs.
However, the Sky Blues already have an array of options in central defence, with Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte all at Guardiola’s disposal, so it is questionable whether spending £110m on a new addition would be a prudent purchase.
Gvardiol is much younger than all the current options and could be the anchor of the City defence for more than a decade to come, but it is a transfer that the club must get right, given the amount of money which would be involved.