Manchester City set to sign Josko Gvardiol in record transfer deal for defender

Josko Gvardiol during Bundesliga game in March 2023
Image Source : GETTY Josko Gvardiol during Bundesliga game in March 2023

Manchester City are on the verge of signing Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig for a transfer fee of $99 million. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed the player’s medical on Friday (August 4) and also joked about the player’s ‘surname’ which rhymes with his own.

The 21-year-old central defender recently emerged as one of the best defenders for the future after an impressive season in Bundesliga and with Croatia’s national football team. He played a crucial role in Croatia’s journey to the semi-final round of the FIFA World Cup 2022 where he first caught the eyes of City scouts.

After Manchester City’s reported approach in June, the German club revealed that they will only accept record-breaking transfer fee for the defender. Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for $102 million in 2019, making him the most expensive defender in the world.

But RB Leipzig have agreed to a reported fee of around $99 million for Josko Gvardiol and the player is expected to sign formalities this weekend. Gvardiol will become the most expensive defensive signing for the Citizens and the second-biggest transfer deal in the world for a defender after Harry Maguire. 

Guardiola confirmed Gvardiol’s medical during the press conference on Friday and added that Manchester City’s transfer business is ‘not done’. 

“Regarding Gvardiol, what a beautiful name surname he has! He’s doing a medical test so everybody knows he’s here. Hopefully, we can finish the deal in the next hours or next few days,” Guardiola said.

Gvardiol will be the only second signing at the Etihad in this transfer window. English Premier League champions signed Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea for a transfer fee of $32 million last month and seemed content with their transfer deals ahead of the new season.

Kovacic is in line to make his debut for the European champions during the Community Shield final against Arsenal on August 6 while Gvardiol will play his first game for the Citizens in the opening PL game against Burnley on August 11.

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