At only 21, the left-footed centre-back, who also serves as a left-back, has caught the attention of Manchester City. Leipzig has a price tag of at least 100m euros (£85.8m) on him, a sum that, if paid, would make Gvardiol the priciest defender in history.
Gvardiol’s nickname, ‘little Pep’, arises from his name’s likeness to City manager Pep Guardiola. But what more do we know about Gvardiol, how does he compare to the current players, and what unique offerings does he bring to the table?
History shows that if City shells out over 93m euros for Gvardiol, he’ll become the priciest defender ever. City already boasts three of the top ten most expensive defenders – Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, and Aymeric Laporte – although the futures of the latter two seem uncertain.
Gvardiol’s contract includes a release clause upwards of 110m euros (£94.35m), but it can’t be activated until the following summer. Jasmine Baba, a German football specialist, told BBC Radio Manchester that Leipzig will not settle for less knowing they can receive this considerable sum for him next summer.
But how would Gvardiol fit into City’s strategy? The 6ft 1in tall left-sided central defender has the potential to play in a back three or four-man defence under Guardiola’s regime. His Bundesliga stats from the previous season compare favourably to City’s current centre-back lineup, demonstrating robust interventions and successful possession wins.
Gvardiol also ranks among the top five defenders in Europe’s top five leagues for the number of times he touches the ball per 90 minutes.
The player already has four years of experience with Dinamo Zagreb and Leipzig and boasts a track record of winning a domestic cup in each of the past three seasons. Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic extols Gvardiol as the world’s best central defender, while Gvardiol’s performance in the World Cup semi-finals and his scoring record underscore his potential.
As Gvardiol already played against Manchester City in the Champions League this season, City fans and experts alike are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the potential transfer. Will ‘little Pep’ join the ranks of the world’s most expensive defenders?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Josko Gvardiol transfer
Who is Manchester City targeting for a potential world-record transfer?
Manchester City is targeting Josko Gvardiol, a defender from RB Leipzig and the Croatia national team, for a potential world-record transfer.
How much could the transfer fee be for Josko Gvardiol?
Leipzig has set a price tag of at least 100m euros (£85.8m) on Gvardiol, which, if paid, would make him the most expensive defender in history.
Why is Josko Gvardiol referred to as ‘little Pep’?
Josko Gvardiol has earned the nickname ‘little Pep’ due to the similarity between his name and that of Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola.
What position does Josko Gvardiol play?
Josko Gvardiol is a left-footed centre-back, but he can also play as a left-back.
What has been Josko Gvardiol’s performance in the past seasons?
Gvardiol’s performance has been commendable. In Europe’s top five leagues, only four defenders have touched the ball more times per 90 minutes than him. His statistics in the Bundesliga last season, specifically his interventions and possession wins, were impressive.
Has Josko Gvardiol won any major tournaments or cups?
Yes, Gvardiol already has four years of first-team experience with Dinamo Zagreb and Leipzig and has won a domestic cup in each of the past three seasons. He also helped Croatia reach the World Cup semi-finals.