Why Pep Guardiola wants to sign Josko Gvardiol

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This week, there were reports linking the treble winners with a talented young central defender. It is clear why Pep Guardiola is a fan of the 21-year-old. Several sources have indicated that Manchester City is interested in signing RB Leipzig’s highly-regarded center-back, Josko Gvardiol.

According to reports, both parties have reached an agreement on personal terms. However, Gvardiol has a release clause of over €110 million that cannot be activated until next year. Leipzig holds a strong position in the negotiations as Gvardiol is contracted until 2027. 

If Manchester City wants to sign the defender this summer, it will come at a significant cost. Nevertheless, City has the financial capability to meet Leipzig’s valuation if they believe he is worth it, and it’s not hard to understand why they might think so.

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Josko Gvardiol arrived in Germany just two years ago after progressing through the academy and making it to the first team at Dinamo Zagreb. Despite being born in 2002, he has already earned 21 senior caps for his national team, which is quite impressive. In his first season playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues, he showed great potential. He played 46 games for Leipzig in the 2021/22 season, performing well in defense and even scoring two goals.

He also helped his team win the DFB Cup. In the following season, he made 41 appearances and once again excelled, helping Leipzig retain their DFB-Pokal. Gvardioal also played in every match as his country reached the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in November. He notably scored the first goal in Croatia’s 2-1 victory against Morocco. 

Gvardioal has a decent height for a central defender. However, his overall defensive skills make him a formidable opponent both in the air and on the ground.

In Pep Guardiola’s system, it is essential for defenders to not only defend but also contribute significantly with the ball. Gvardiol has the ability to pass the ball short or send it forward with precision. He is also confident in venturing out of the defense and dribbling past opponents who underestimate him. This is why City’s interest in Gvardioal makes more sense when taking this into account. 

There are rumors that Laporte might leave the club. Gvardiol, who is also left-footed, would be a perfect choice to replace Aymeric Laporte if Manchester City decides to sell him. Gvardiol’s left-footedness is advantageous as it allows him to play comfortably on the left side in a back three or back four formation.

Gvardiol’s talent is evident every time he takes the field, and there are rumors suggesting that Guardiola is a strong admirer of the player. As a result, it is highly probable that the transfer will take place.

READ ALSO: Why Liverpool wants to sign Szoboszlai?

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