Man City ready to move for World Cup star who Chelsea nearly signed for £60m

Manchester City could make a move for Croatian World Cup hero Josko Gvardiol - as Pep Guardiola weights up his options surrounding the future of Aymeric Laporte


Posted Sunday, March 05, 2023 by Dailystar.co.uk

Man City ready to move for World Cup star who Chelsea nearly signed for £60m
Croatian international Josko Gvardiol has emerged as a target for Man City

Manchester City will turn to Croatia World Cup star Josko Gvardiol - should they lose Aymeric Laporte this summer.

French giants Paris Saint-Germain are showing a strong interest in central defender Laporte, who has struggled to become an automatic starter during his five years at the Etihad. Which is why City would be willing to listen for offers of £60million plus for the Spanish international, 28, in the next window - and use that cash to help finance their pursuit of RB Leipzig ace Gvardiol.

Gvardiol scored for the Bundesliga outfit against City last month in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Round of 16 Champions League clash. Pep Guardiola was already a big admirer before that but the City boss now appears hellbent on joining the chase for one of the most in-demand players in Europe.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool and Real Madrid are also in the hunt for Gvardiol, 21, with the big-spending Blues at the head of that queue.

The Londoners came close to signing him last summer in a £60m deal but eventually chose to go for other targets instead. Whether a central defender will be top of the Stamford Bridge transfer list still this time round remains to be seen.

And if Graham Potter’s strugglers, as appears likely, miss out on Champions League football next season, their chances of landing Gvardiol will be seriously damaged.

That could clear the way for City to pounce - and ex-Atletico Madrid man Laporte, who was born in France, to head across the channel to PSG. Gvardiol, capped 19 times by Croatia, actually signed a new deal with RB Leipzig in December, which runs until 2027 and includes a whopping £97m release clause.

However, it is thought clause that does not kick in until the start of 2024, making the need to get him this summer - for considerably cheaper - all the more pressing for the clutch of clubs wanting him.

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