Tottenham and Chelsea dealt blow as centre-back target 'expected to stay' this summer

Tottenham and Chelsea have both been dealt a blow in their pursuit of defensive reinforcements as RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol is now 'expected to stay' at the German club this summer.

The Croatian centre-back has enjoyed a stunning season for Leipzig, appearing 29 times in the Bundesliga, while the 20-year-old has also managed 6 appearances both in the Champions League and Europa League.

Playing as a left centre-back, he has caught the attention of both Chelsea and Tottenham, both of whom are looking to strengthen in that position this summer. He was named on a four-man shortlist that included Pau Torres and Andrea Bastoni for the Lilywhites, while Chelsea are scrambling for options following their takeover.

However, Gvardiol has previously poured cold water on departure rumours, citing his desire to stay in Germany.

‘I really enjoy every day with this great team at this top-class club. I don’t think about anything else’, the starlet told Bild.

When asked about whether he will be a Leipzig player in 2022/23, he replied ‘Yes, of course!’ before explaining that he ‘really has no plans’ for his future.

And now, it seems as though the message has got through, with the defender 'expected to stay at RB Leipzig this summer' according to Nathan Gissing.

Where else will Chelsea look?

The latest setback could force Chelsea to pivot for another Tottenham target in Andrea Bastoni while Pau Torres is also an option, though they could yet face competition from Manchester United.

Alternatively, they could promote youth prospect Levi Colwill, who has excelled at Championship level with Huddersfield Town. Whether they deem it a season too soon, however, remains to be seen.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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