Manchester City have joined the race to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, according to a recent report.
The Lowdown: Gvardiol’s World Cup form
Gvardiol is currently competing at the World Cup with national side Croatia, where he is turning heads with some impressive displays, keeping two clean sheets en-route to his side reaching the quarter-finals, including an incredible-last ditch block to deny Romelu Lukaku in a 0-0 draw vs Belgium.
Fabrizio Romano claims that no deal will be concluded for the 20-year-old until after the Qatar tournament, but interest in him is continuing to grow in the wake of his performances, with Pep Guardiola the latest to join the queue.
The Latest: Man City’s interest
The Evening Standard reports that while Chelsea were the club initially interested in the colossus, City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are now prepared to rival any bids.
However, the same report points out that the defender’s agent, Marjan Sisic, has stated that his client is “not in a hurry” to decide his future, so it may be a waiting game for any potential suitors.
The Verdict: Make it happen
Lauded as a “monster” by Romano and ‘sensational‘ by Nizaar Kinsella, the Croatian has the ability to perform at the very highest level, as he has already started to exhibit at the World Cup, most recently in the 1-1 draw against Japan, in which he made a total of ten clearances and interceptions, the highest amount of any player.
Not only that, but the 6 foot 1 enforcer’s performances at club level have been top quality to boot, putting on show the right qualities to fit a Guardiola system by averaging 86.81 passes attempted per 90 minutes over the past year, a figure that puts him in the 99th percentile compared to his positional peers.
As such, Gvardiol would be able to seamlessly slot in to the Man City backline without much adjustment to the passing style of play, and he is someone that the Sky Blues should prioritise signing at the earliest opportunity.