Man City convinced to shatter historic record on Man Utd target after recent Guardiola contact

Josko Gvardiol, Leandro Trossard, Croatia v Belgium, December 2022

Manchester City are putting together a bid for Josko Gvardiol that would see the Croatia international become the most expensive defender in history, according to a report.

Gvardiol has risen to prominence over the past few months. He enjoyed an impressive debut season with RB Leipzig in the 2021-22 Bundesliga. His form has continued into the current campaign and then the World Cup.

The 20-year-old has been an important figure in his country’s journey to the semi-finals in Qatar. In the process, he has been reinforcing the idea that he would be a good signing for many elite clubs.

A recent report suggested that Manchester United were ready to step up their interest in Gvardiol. However, they were warned about competition from arch-rivals Manchester City, whose pursuit has now reached the next level.

According to Foot Mercato, the Premier League champions have already made a huge offer to RB Leipzig for the defender.

With bonuses included, they would be willing to pay €110million (£94.3million). In the process, Gvardiol would become the most expensive defender in history, surpassing Harry Maguire.

Manchester City’s plan, per the report, is to sign Gvardiol in January but allow RB Leipzig to keep him on loan until the end of the season.

It would be a similar method to how the Bundesliga side signed him in the first place, sending him back to Dinamo Zagreb immediately after their purchase in 2020.

Now, Gvardiol is gearing up for the next step of his career. He has already spoken with Pep Guardiola, while Manchester City have met with representatives of the defender and his club in recent days back in Zagreb.

Man City outbidding rivals for promising Josko Gvardiol

Their offer is greater than what Manchester United have been preparing to put on the table (€90million/£77.2million) or another English suitor, Chelsea (€95million/£81.5million).

Hence, they could make the most of their financial power to win the race for one of Europe’s most coveted prospects.

Guardiola can already call upon Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji at centre-back. Therefore, it makes sense to keep Gvardiol at RB Leipzig for now in order to not stagnate his development.

But he can certainly be an asset to them from the 2023-24 season and beyond. None of their current options are particularly old or nearing the end of a contract. But it is still helpful to construct a squad with an eye to the future.

Besides, Gvardiol’s value might only increase if he keeps performing the way he is doing. Thus, there is another benefit of striking early to sign him.

As a left-footer, he will be able to compete with Laporte and Ake. The latter attracted interest from elsewhere in the summer, so perhaps could have moved if Gvardiol was lined up to arrive.

The potential new recruit can also play at left-back, although he hasn’t done this season for his club. Still, there could be several ways for his near-namesake Guardiola to get him in the team.

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