Manchester City are ‘closing in’ on a deal for Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic and are pushing hard to sign another Croatia international.
Pep Guardiola is looking to strengthen his squad ahead of next season and has had the 29-year-old on his radar for some time.
With Ilkay Gundogan expected to depart Man City on a free transfer, midfield is one of the manager’s key focuses, along with his defence.
As previously reported by TEAMtalk, the Cityzens have already come to an agreement with Kovacic on personal terms. Now, the only thing left to negotiate is a transfer fee with Chelsea.
According to Fabrizio Romano, an agreement with the West London club is now ‘imminent.’
On Twitter, he wrote: “Manchester City are closing in on Mateo Kovacić deal — it’s matter of details as the agreement with Chelsea looks finally imminent.
“Understand City are convinced to get it done and sealed this week. Personal terms agreed two weeks ago, Kovacić wants Man City.”
Since signing for Chelsea in 2019, he has made 221 appearances, scoring six goals and making 15 assists. Now, with just one year remaining on his Blues contract, he looks destined to leave Stamford Bridge.
Man City ‘push again’ for Gvardiol
With the deal for Kovacic all-but completed, Man City have switched their attention to his Croatia teammate, Josko Gvardiol. But, it could require a record-breaking bid to sign him.
Again, this is according to Romano, who added: “Right after Kovacić deal, Man City will push again for top target Josko Gvardiol. Personal terms are on the verge of being agreed with Croatian centre-back.
“Negotiations needed with RB Leipzig as they want way more than reported €80m fee, still hoping to keep Josko.”
Indeed, recent reports have suggested that Man City are considering an €80m (approx. £68.5m) bid for Gvardiol. However, Leipzig are demanding at least €100m (£85.7m) for the defender.
With Aymeric Laporte linked with a departure from the Etihad, Guardiola has made signing a new centre-back his priority. And, Gvardiol definitely has the quality to slot into Man City’s starting XI.
Last season, he made 41 appearances across all competitions for the RB Leipzig. In the process, he helped keep 14 clean sheets and scored three goals.
Also, he already has 21 caps for Croatia under his belt. So, there is no doubt that he can perform at the highest level.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Man City do pay the £85.7m required to sign Gvardiol this summer.
If they do, it would be the biggest fee paid for a defender ever, overtaking Manchester United’s £80m deal for Harry Maguire.