Liverpool enter heated race to sign sensational Man City target, but negotiations ‘not hot at this stage’

RB Leipzig trio Willi Orban, Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku

Bundesliga transfer expert Florian Plettenberg has confirmed that Liverpool are interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvadriol, while Manchester City plot a move.

However, the Sky Sports journalist added that negotiations over an exit are ‘not hot at this stage,’ so the Premier League rivals may have to wait to pen a deal.

Gvadriol is widely touted to become one of the best centre-backs in the world in the future, so it’s unsurprising to see a host of European clubs interested in his signature.

Indeed, the 21-year-old has received widespread praise for his performances in the Bundesliga after establishing himself as one of Leipzig’s most important players.

This season, Gvardiol has made 21 league appearances for the German giants, helping his team to six clean sheets in the process.

The defender also caught the eye playing for Croatia during the World Cup, featuring heavily as they secured an impressive third-place finish.

Along with Man City and Liverpool, Chelsea have also previously registered an interest in Gvardiol, so if the youngster was to become available, it’s likely they would also make an offer for his services.

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Plettenberg casts doubt on Gvardiol exit

However, despite the interest from the Premier League, Plettenberg has revealed that Leipzig will do everything they can to keep Gvardiol this summer.

On Twitterhe said: “News on Gvardiol: As reported yesterday LFC is interested! He’s on the list. It would be a great fitting.

“But, I’ve been told that it’s not hot at this stage. No negotiations. Leipzig wants to keep him 100%. Release clause in summer 2024 is around €110m.”

Even if Liverpool are unable to secure a deal for Gvardiol this summer, they could still opt to pay his release clause in the summer of 2024.

Indeed, while the Croatian’s release clause of €110m (approx. £97m) is a big one, he would still represent an excellent long-term investment for the Reds.

Standing at 6ft 1, Gvardiol is an imposing figure on the pitch and is excellent in the air, winning an average of 1.4 aerial battles per game.

The defender also loves a good tackle, too, making an average of 2.5 per match. As well as that, he is also thought to be a big leadership figure behind the scenes at Leipzig – a valuable asset to any team.

There’s no doubt that Virgil van Dijk has been a fantastic centre-back for Liverpool over the years. However, with the likes of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez struggling for consistency this season, it will be an area that Jurgen Klopp is looking to improve.

With that in mind, we could potentially see Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea all battling for Gvardiol, if not this summer, then definitely in 2024.

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