Man City transfers: Talks opened as Pep Guardiola steals a march on Real over £100m defensive star tipped for the top

Leripzig's Dominik Szoboszlai (center) has just scored to make it 2:0 and is cheering with Emil Forsberg (l) and Josko Gvardiol

Reports claim Manchester City have now opened talks with RB Leipzig over the possible signing of defender Josko Gvardiol this summer.

The Citizens have already secured a double, with victory in the FA Cup final following yet another Premier League title. Chasing down Arsenal for most of the season, they put together an incredible run to overtake the Gunners. Pep Guardiola’s men have now won three straight league titles.

And they have an opportunity of securing a historic treble on Saturday in the Champions League final.

The Etihad giants take on Inter Milan in Istanbul and are firm favourites to lift the trophy for the first time.

But, far from resting on their laurels, City are already planning ahead, with reports earlier his week that they were targeting Gvardiol.

It has been reported that the Croatia interantional has a release clause in the region of £100m.

That becomes active in the summer of 2024 but City want their business done during the upcoming window.

Football Insider state that initial talks have begun with a player who is a ‘top target’ for the north-west giants.

And discussions will escalate following the weekend’s European showpiece.

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Both Liverpool and Tottenham have also been mentioned in connection with the versatile stopper.

However, it appears as though just City and Real Madid remain the race for his signature.

It is unclear exactly how much any potential suitor will have to pay. But it is thought he will go for less than the release clause figure.

Gvardiol fits City blueprint

Guardiola has revolutionised English football, with his innovative methods reaping rewards over seven seasons.

The Spanish tactician spots traits in his players and utilises their abilities.

This season, he has used John Stones in midfield on occasions. And Gvardiol is another player who can perform dual duties.

He is primarily a centre back but can also operate as a left-back and has played there for Leipzig.

With Aymeric Laporte set to leave the Etihad, Manchester City are looking for a ready-made replacement.

And despite his age, the former Dinamo Zagreb stopper has already racked up 69 Bundesliga appearances.

He has enjoyed 88 outings in all competitions for Die Roten Bullen and been capped 21 times by Croatia, scoring twice.

In December last year, he became the youngest player to score for Croatia at a major tournament during the World Cup.

The talented starlet bagged in the 2-1 third-place triumph over Morocco in Qatar.

He is clearly at home on the biggest stage and seems tailor-made for the pressure of the Premier League.

The report suggests City are confident of getting their man, who is under contract at Leipzig until 2027.

Guardiola’s side were superb defensively in 2022-2023.

And the fact that they are already looking at new players proves their pursuit of silverware shows no signs of stopping.

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