Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano tells Chelsea to fear potential Man City threat for top target, with selling club ‘convinced’

Josko Gvardiol, RB Leipzig, April 2022.

RB Leipzig are ‘convinced’ that Chelsea will be joined by other bidders for Josko Gvardiol next summer, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Gvardiol was the subject of an approach from Chelsea late in the summer transfer window. At the time, they were still working on the signing of Wesley Fofana from Leicester City. While he was able to arrive in the end, Gvardiol was not – despite a plan to leave him on loan in Germany until 2023.

Instead, the Croatia international ended up signing a contract extension with RB Leipzig. His terms with them will now run until 2027, although they can expect further interest in his services before then.

There has already been further talk of Chelsea trying again for Gvardiol in the future. But now, it has emerged that they might not be alone in their interest.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the reason Chelsea were turned down this summer was because RB Leipzig feel they can generate more interest next year. In turn, perhaps they could gain a bigger fee from his potential exit.

What’s more, Romano has named Manchester City as one of the other clubs who could be eyeing Gvardiol.

The reporter tweeted: “RB Leipzig turned down Chelsea bid for Josko Gvardiol on Deadline week (it was for summer 2023) as they’re convinced other clubs will join the race next summer, including Man City.

“New deal until 2027 but Chelsea are still there and the race is absolutely open.”

Of course, Chelsea’s defence was undergoing an evolution in the summer. They lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers.

To fill the void, the club signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Fofana. They are now competing for places with the likes of Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Cesar Azpilicueta and possibly Marc Cucurella.

Chelsea might need Josko Gvardiol more than Man City

It remains to be seen what kind of formation new boss Graham Potter will use. Under predecessor Thomas Tuchel, three centre-back spots were available; if Potter switches to a back four, only two would be.

Silva is out of contract at the end of the season, but has been defying his age. Still, given the stage of his career he is at, it might not harm Chelsea to bring in one more option for the long term – especially with Koulibaly and Azpilicueta being in the twilights of their careers too.

Their need would seemingly be greater than Manchester City’s. After all, the reigning Premier League champions have five strong centre-backs at their disposal already: Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji.

But they will be keen to keep their rivals at arm’s length. As such, they will probably be tracking top talents like Gvardiol as well.

RB Leipzig have sold several players to other clubs for good windfalls in recent years. At some stage, Gvardiol – who is still only 20 years old – is likely to follow a similar path.

The only question remains where exactly he will end up. Chelsea will be hoping it could be them, but there will be many contenders.

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