According to reports, Manchester City and RB Leipzig have agreed on a fee for defender Josko Gvardiol.
Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl said earlier this month that the 21-year-old is keen to join the triple champions this summer, and conversations between the two clubs have taken place.
After acquiring fellow Croatia international Mateo Kovacic last month, Man City manager Pep Guardiola has identified Gvardiol as his major summer target.
The Citizens’ initial offer of €75 million (£64.1 million) plus add-ons was supposedly rejected two weeks ago by Leipzig, who have refused to move from their €100 million (£85.4 million) valuation of the highly-rated defender.
However, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Manchester City and Leipzig have achieved a definitive deal to sign Gvardiol.
According to Romano, the Croatian finished the first part of his medical on Wednesday and his move to the Etihad Stadium is ‘on the verge’ of being formalized.
Man City are said to have already accepted personal terms with Gvardiol, who might become the most expensive defender in the world.
Indeed, Gvardiol’s expected big-money move to the Etihad Stadium could exceed Manchester United’s £80 million spend on centre-back Harry Maguire in 2019.
Gvardiol will become the third Leipzig player to leave the Bundesliga for the Premier League this summer, following Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai to Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively.
Gvardiol has established himself as one of the world’s finest defensive talents since joining Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020, raising his game to new heights for club and country.
During the 2022-23 season, the youngster appeared 41 times in all tournaments for Leipzig, who won the DFB-Pokal for the second time in a row and qualified for the Champions League by finishing third in the Bundesliga.
Gvrardiol also scored three goals, including a header against Man City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, which Guardiola’s team won 7-1 on aggregate.
The left-footed centre-back, who can also play left-back, also scored in Croatia’s third-place playoff triumph over Morocco at the 2022 World Cup, and he appeared in all seven of Croatia’s games in Qatar.
Guardiola presently has five center-back alternatives in Ruben Dias, John Stones, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, and Aymeric Laporte, although the latter appears to be the most likely to leave if Gvardiol completes his move to the Etihad.
Man City have also been linked with versatile forward Dani Olmo, who has been touted as a possible replacement for Al-Ahli-bound Riyad Mahrez.
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