Chelsea will have to make Josko Gvardiol ‘the most expensive centre-back ever’ if they want to lure the RB Leipzig star to Stamford Bridge after remaining ‘in contact’ with his advisors, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has told GiveMeSport.
Graham Potter, who was appointed as the Blues’ head coach in September, is preparing for the winter window to open next month.
Chelsea transfer news – Josko Gvardiol
According to 90min, Chelsea are confident that they will fight off stiff competition and sign Gvardiol.
The report suggests the west Londoners are more advanced in their pursuit than the Croatia international’s other suitors – which includes Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – and have indicated a willingness to reach an agreement in January.
Transfer insider Dean Jones recently told GiveMeSport that Chelsea are desperate to get a deal for Gvardiol over the line.
Although Leipzig are keen to fend off any potential bids during the January window, the 20-year-old has a £97million release clause written into his contract which can be triggered in the summer of 2024.
Chelsea began keeping tabs on Gvardiol’s progress when he was 16 and their interest has refused to go away.
What has Fabrizio Romano said about Gvardiol?
Romano understands that Leipzig will be unwilling to sanction Gvardiol’s mid-season departure unless Chelsea are open to parting with £88million.
The respected journalist is aware that the Blues have remained in constant dialogue with the defender’s representatives and his current employers ahead of a potential January swoop.
Romano told GiveMeSport: “Now, Leipzig want way more than €90million. They hope to go for more than €100million to make Gvardiol the most expensive centre-back ever.
“Chelsea are still working on it. They are still in contact with people close to the player and Leipzig.”
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Would Gvardiol be a good signing for Chelsea?
Although FBref statistics show Gvardiol has averaged less tackles and interceptions than Chelsea trio Thiago Silva, Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly per 90 minutes this season, there is no doubt that he would be an exciting addition to Potter’s squad.
He emphasised that he is a solid presence during Croatia’s World Cup campaign, playing a key role in his nation sealing third place.
According to Sofascore, Gvardiol averaged 5.3 clearances, 1.6 interceptions and 1.3 tackles per outing in Qatar.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin described the Leipzig man as a ‘Rolls-Royce’ during Croatia’s quarter-final clash with Brazil, while he has also shone at club level.
Gvardiol’s importance to Leipzig is emphasised by the fact they have only lost three fixtures since the start of the season when he has featured, but Chelsea ought to test their resolve.