Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

First Man City signing of summer lined up as Pep prepares to bring in centre-back beast with £100m exit clause

Pep Guardiola of Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

Manchester City are ready to make their first move in the summer transfer market by landing a top-class centre-back to replace the outgoing Aymeric Laporte.

Pep Guardiola’s men are expected to have a busy transfer window this summer, even if they complete an historic treble by beating Inter Milan in the Champions League final on Saturday evening.

Defensively City have been impressive all season long but it appears that centre-back remains an area that Guardiola believes he can still improve.

And with Laporte on his way, it appears that the City chief is stepping up his efforts to sign RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol.

A report from 90min claims that the reigning Premier League champions are set to firm up their interest in Gvardiol in a bid to stop Real Madrid landing the Croatia international.

The 21-year-old has emerged as one of the best young defenders in European football, with his performances in the World Cup for Croatia only raising his value.

He has a release clause in his contract which comes into fruition from 2024 for £100million but RB Leipzig are willing to accept a fee lower this summer, with City and Real the main two suitors.

Tottenham also had significant interest in the player, but their failure to secure European football has scuppered their chances.

Gvardiol gives City duel defensive option

City will be needing a left-footed centre-back if Laporte does leave and Guardiola is known to be a huge admirer of the Croatian’s talents, even if Jamie Carragher wants the player to join Liverpool instead.

Gvardiol could even slot in at left-back, given that Guardiola likes playing centre-backs at full-back, and would give City another option in that position if Joao Cancelo leaves on loan again.

The defender impressed at Bayern Munich last season but is being tipped to join Barcelona in a temporary switch this summer.

READ MORE: Liverpool frozen out as Man Utd, Man City battle for Bayern ace who will leave for tempting fee