Manchester City have announced the arrival of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, with the centre-back penning a five-year contract at the Etihad.
Gvardiol has previously been linked with Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea amid his top performances in Germany, but it is City who have won the race for his services. They have paid Leipzig a whopping €90million (£77.8m) for Gvardiol, making him the second-most expensive defender of all time behind Manchester United’s Harry Maguire.
In a club statement confirming Gvardiol’s signing, City said they were ‘delighted’ about the transfer. The 21-year-old becomes Pep Guardiola’s second capture of the summer window, following Croatia team-mate Mateo Kovacic to the treble winners.
Gvardiol will wear the number 24 shirt for City. He will mainly compete with the likes of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias for a starting place under Guardiola, while his arrival could result in Aymeric Laporte being sold.
In his first interview as a City player, Gvardiol said: “I have always dreamed of one day playing in England and to be doing so now with Manchester City – after the season they have just had – is a real honour for me.
“Anyone who saw Manchester City play last season knows they are the best team in the world. To win the Treble says everything you need to know about the quality this team has.
“To be joining City is something very special for me and my family.
“To have the chance to work with Pep Guardiola, too, will be amazing. I know I am not yet the finished article and I am sure my game will progress under the best coach in football.
Josko Gvardiol excited about Kovacic reunion
“To be linking up with Mateo Kovacic will also be special. He’s a top footballer and I hope we can both help City achieve another successful season in 2023/24 and then beyond.”
City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We are very happy to bring Josko to Manchester City.
“He is a player we have watched closely, and we feel he has a superb set of attributes.
“Top clubs all over Europe have been monitoring him, so to bring him here is great news for us.
“Josko has so many qualities – everything you want in a centre-half. He is fast, competitive, combative, strong in the air, impressive in possession of the ball, with strong self-belief and a good character. He is left-footed, too, which offers us good options at the back.
“He is still young but his progress in the game has been rapid. We feel confident his upward trajectory will continue here at City working with Pep and his staff.”