Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly maintained an interest in bringing RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol to north London this summer.
The Croatia international was one of the players under consideration, along with Alessandro Bastoni and Gleison Bremer, before Spurs ended up settling on a loan deal for Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet.
The France international arrived on a temporary deal, although there is no option to buy. That has led to rumours of sporting director Fabio Paratici still wanting to make a permanent centre-back signing.
And that is where Gvardiol fits in, with the Daily Express starting Paratici still wants the player on board.
The problem for Spurs is that Leipzig are not budging on their asking price. The Bundesliga outfit still want in the region of £80million for the 20-year-old.
French outlet Media Foot has also thrown a spanner in the works. They state that Arsenal remain favourites to sign the defender, who they view as a perfect replacement for Juventus target Gabriel.
Gvardiol was a rock at the heart of the Leipzig defence last season, making 29 appearances in the Bundesliga.
He also scored two goals and added two assists for a Leipzig side that finished fourth in the table.
If he does move Gvardiol looks set for a huge pay rise, given his current salary of £21,000-a-week.
That is where Tottenham could also have the advantage, given that they can pay Champions League wages.
Much now depends on concrete offers being submitted and Gvardiol’s preference also being revealed.
Gvardiol a centre-back too far for Tottenham
Having already landed Lenglet, the likelihood of Spurs swooping for another left-sided centre-back seem very slim.
On the face of it, Gvardiol does seem to have more upside. He is seven years younger and has been playing much more regularly than the Barcelona loanee of late.
Gvardiol is also quicker than Lenglet, although both players are comfortable in possession and adept and bringing the ball out from the back.
The price tag is, however, a major issue for Tottenham – given they’ve already had a busy summer.
It may well mean that they look to offload the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso or Harry Winks first. That would then free up transfer funds to bring the impressive Gvardiol on board.