Manchester City have agreed a £77m deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol after protracted talks with the German side, it has emerged, with the Croatian set to become their second signing of the summer.
The Cityzens have been quiet so far in the transfer window, despite losing both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez to Barcelona and Saudi side Al-Ahli respectively. Mateo Kovacic has arrived in a £25m deal from Chelsea, but much of the focus has been on securing Gvardiol, who is considered one of the best young defenders in world football.
Despite reports that a deal was off last week, it has since been reported that the two sides have struck an agreement over a deal worth 90m euros (£77m) which will see Gvardiol ply his trade at the Etihad for the upcoming season and beyond.
Should it proceed as expected, it will make the Croatian the second most expensive defender of all time, behind only Harry Maguire whose £80m move to Manchester United remains top of the pile.
Kovacic, his compatriot and soon to be teammate, has already given his blessing to the move.
‘Josko has great potential,’ he said when quizzed on the potential transfer. ‘He can come here and learn and be the best version of himself. I’d obviously like it — I’m a good friend with him and he’s Croatian. It would be nice to have a Croatian by my side here’.
‘He’s already played a lot of big games. He is ready for this step’
Predominantly a left-sided defender, Gvardiol will fight it out with Nathan Ake for a spot in Guardiola’s starting XI, with the Dutchman having just penned a new contract after the best season of his career at the Etihad.