Josko Gvardiol has confirmed he had a “very, very good” offer from Leeds this summer before choosing to join RB Leipzig instead.
Gvardiol was one of several defenders to be linked with Leeds over the summer as it became clear they would not be able to keep Ben White from Brighton.
White had an impressive season on loan at Leeds in 2019-20, helping them win promotion. However, Brighton were desperate to keep hold of the defender, and Leeds could not meet their asking price.
Therefore, they had to turn their attention elsewhere. They eventually signed Diego Llorente and Robin Koch, but not before seeing their pursuit of Gvardiol fall through.
The teenager looked ready for the next step after coming through the ranks at Dinamo Zagreb. Leeds were willing to make him some big promises to lure him to Elland Road.
However, he seemed unsettled by the amount of gametime they were offering, instead preferring to join Leipzig for around €16m, and be loaned back to Dinamo.
Gvardiol has now opened up on why he made that decision.
“Leeds’ offer was also very, very good,” he told Index (via Sport Witness).
“But it was decided that Leipzig was a better option for the development of young players.
“An agreement was also reached that I could stay at Dinamo, so everything turned out great.
“I was under pressure while I was dealing with the transfer this summer. After I solved it, I don’t bother with any stories or what is being written.”
Leeds offer was similar
When Gvardiol’s move to Leipzig was announced, his agent confirmed that Leeds had been in for the defender.
“True, he had an offer from Leeds but he chose Leipzig for the sporting project,” Andy Bara told Calciomercato at the time.
“At an economic level the offers were practically the same.”