RB Leipzig director confirms Josko Gvardiol request to join Manchester City

RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed Josko Gvardiol has requested to join Manchester City as talks between the clubs continue

Treble-Winners City want reinforcements at the back and were told by the Bundesliga club at the end of June that a world record fee for the defender would be required to facilitate the sale. Pep Guardiola’s interest dates back to April.

Leipzig have already lost key first-team stars Christopher Nkunku, Konrad Laimer and Dominik Szoboszlai this summer. The departure of Guardiola, who started 24 league games as his side finished third behind champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, would be another major blow to last season’s squad.

“Gvardiol and his agents have given us the wish to move to Manchester City. We are negotiating with City,” Eberl told LVZ.

“Yes, for 100 million euros plus bonuses, Guardiol will end up in Pep’s strong hands. The value of the transaction would make Guardiol the most expensive defender in history. But it may take a few more days.”

That transfer fee would eclipse the £80m that local rivals Manchester United splashed out on Leicester for Harry Maguire in 2019. Guardiola was already scouted by Chelsea last year, but no agreement was reached before signing a new contract with Leipzig.

His arrival would add to Guardiola’s strength in central defence. Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and John Stones held consistent roles throughout the successful 2022/23 campaign, while Aymeric Laporte often warmed the bench or featured in lower stakes.

City have confirmed the arrival of Croatian international midfielder Mateo Kovačić ahead of club captain Ilkay Gundogan’s free transfer to Barcelona following the expiry of his contract.

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