Josko Gvardiol is far from being considered a bolt-on signing for Manchester City this summer just yet, Christian Falk exclusively revealed in his latest CaughtOffside column.
That being said, the financial might on offer with the Sky Blues and Chelsea does hand them something of an advantage in the race for the Croatian’s signature over fellow English top-flight rivals Liverpool and Tottenham.
“Manchester City are not the favourites, but of course, Pep Guardiola’s men have a good chance when it comes to the race for Joško Gvardiol. That being said, one can’t ignore Chelsea either,” the BILD journalist wrote.
“Both clubs have the advantage over Liverpool and Tottenham, ultimately because the side that offers €100m in the summer will have the best chance of getting Gvardiol and, as many are more than aware, City and Chelsea have the money to fund such a deal.
“The important thing to note is that Gvardiol wants to leave in the summer if an opportunity in the Premier League arises. It doesn’t matter that his release clause (€112m) is only valid in 2024.
“Put simply, the Croatian won’t accept Leipzig stopping his potential exit should an offer of €100m come through the door. He wants to go to the Premier League, preferably this summer rather than the next, despite signing a new contract until 2027.”
The World Cup star considerably boosted his international profile with a series of stunning performances in the backline in Doha and may yet earn his exit from Germany this summer.
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Should Aymeric Laporte indeed desire an exit from Manchester, as has been reported by 90Min (amid interest from Barcelona), RB Leipzig may be powerless stop the advance of the financial behemoth in the summer window.
Ultimately, of course, despite question marks existing over the heads of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, the Reds have far bigger fish to fry in the market – chiefly Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, who may yet set Jurgen Klopp’s men back in the region of £130m.
In that sense, one might reasonably expect the Merseysiders to pursue comparatively cheaper options, should they be available beyond the current campaign.