The Champions League winner has reached an agreement with RB Leipzig to sign Josko Gvardiol for a world-record fee for a defender.
In the Man City transfer news today live done deal, Manchester City has agreed to pay a fee of $112 million (€100 million) demanded by RB Leipzig to release Gvardiol. This amount is higher than the $85 million value that the specialized website Transfermarkt placed on the 21-year-old defender.
The two clubs have been negotiating for several weeks, with slow progress. Leipzig pushed for a higher price from Manchester City because Gvardiol has a contract until 2027 with a release clause that will be active next summer, valued at $123 million. However, by the end of July 19, the parties found common ground. Gvardiol completed the first part of his medical examination and is preparing to sign a five-year contract.
Once the deal is announced, Gvardiol will become the most expensive defender in history, surpassing the $98 million record set when Harry Maguire joined Manchester United in 2019. Gvardiol will be the first defender to reach the “€100 million” mark and the 16th player in history to achieve this milestone. He also will be one of Man City most expensive signings in history.
Gvardiol will be Manchester City’s second signing this summer, following Mateo Kovacic, his fellow Croat, who joined from Chelsea for $31 million. The arrival of the Croatian defender could pave the way for Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker to leave Etihad. Manchester City has already said goodbye to Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy after their contracts expired, and they reached an agreement to sell Riyad Mahrez to Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia.
According to Goal, the Cityzens will soon announce Gvardiol – Man City new signings so that he can join the team’s pre-season tour in Japan and South Korea. The team will face Yokohama F. Marinos on July 23, Bayern Munich on July 26 in Tokyo, and Atletico in Mapo on July 30. Pep Guardiola’s team will start the new season with the FA Community Shield match against Arsenal at Wembley on August 6.
Gvardiol began his professional career at Dinamo Zagreb in 2019 before moving to RB Leipzig for $16 million. He became the most expensive teenage player in Croatia’s history and the third highest-priced Croatian defender. In two seasons with RB Leipzig, Gvardiol played 88 games, scored five goals, and won two German National Cups. He became one of the top Man City transfer targets this summer.
According to Opta Stats, among the defensive statistics from the previous season, Gvardiol ranked second behind Willi Orban among RB Leipzig’s central defenders with a total of 96 duels won, 43 aerial duels won, 2138 successful passes, and 2423 ball touches.
Gvardiol made a strong impression at the 2022 World Cup, playing a key role in helping Croatia secure third place. He formed a solid defensive partnership with experienced center-back Dejan Lovren, providing a shield in front of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. The 20-year-old made the most interceptions (37) and progressive ball carries (202) in the tournament, as well as gaining possession more frequently than any other defender (48 times).
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