Leeds increase bid for Croatian defender as new side enters race

Date published: Wednesday 9th September 2020 9:57 - James Marshment

Josko Gvardiol

Leeds have increased their offer to sign Josko Gvardiol after RB Leipzig joined the race for the Dinamo Zagreb defender.

Victor Orta has been busy adding to Leeds’ newly-promoted squad with the arrivals of centre-back Robin Koch and striker Rodrigo Moreno. However, Marcelo Bielsa needs further defensive cover after Gaetano Berardi was ruled out for nine months.

United had targeted a deal for Rangers left-back Borna Barisic, seeing an £8m offer rebuffed.

However, they have now focused their efforts on Gvardiol, who is rated at £18m. The added bonus for Leeds is that the 18-year-old can cover both centre-half and left-back.

Rated as one of Croatian football’s brightest prospects, Gvardiol will be seen as another exciting addition for Leeds.

Gvardiol is not short of admirers either. Manchester City, Lille, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig have all been keeping tabs on his development.

However, reports at the weekend claimed Leeds were close to his signing.

Leeds though have not been able to tie up a deal just yet – and now it has emerged they face serious competition for the player.

That’s after Bundesliga side Leipzig also submitted an offer of their own.

In turn, that has forced Leeds to raise the stakes for Gvardiol with Bielsa said to be extremely keen on the teenager.

As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Leeds have now raised their bid to €22m (£20m). Furthermore, Leeds will include a 20% sell-on clause for Zagreb on any future sale.

Zagreb are thought to be seeking €25m for the 18-year-old, but Leeds will hope their new bid proves successful.

Another boost for Leeds is that Leipzig’s bid is said to only be for €15m. But for a serious intervention by the player, the Bundesliga side’s offer is unlikely to be accepted.


De Paul price tag at €40m

Meanwhile, Leeds have been told they will need to raise their initial offer for Rodrigo de Paul if they’re serious about signing the Argentine playmaker.

Rodrigo de Paul

Reports emerged recently claiming Leeds were in the hunt for Udinese star De Paul.

Those talks appeared to stall last week when it emerged the player was waiting on possible interest for Juventus.

And reports in the Italian media also claimed Leicester have joined the race for the Argentinian playmaker.

Either way, there appears a lot of conjecture surrounding the potential sale of De Paul right now.

Tuesday’s edition of Mondo Udinese offers another take on proceedings. And their version could explain why a lack of progress has been made on the De Paul front from a Leeds point of view.

The Italian paper explains that Gino Pozzo has ‘rejected the first assault from Leeds by president Andrea Radrizzani’. Furthermore, they claim the Udinese owner has told Radrizzani that De Paul ‘cannot cost less’ than his €40m asking price.

That may well explain why Radrizzani is looking at Draxler It’s highly unlikely that the West Yorkshire side could afford both players.



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