Manchester City have been linked with a move for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
According to a recent report from the Daily Mail, the Croatian defender tops the Premier League champions’ list of potential transfer targets to replace Nathan Ake, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea.
Throughout he debut campaign in Germany, the 20-year-old ended up making 45 appearances for Leipzig across all competitions, chipping in with two goals and three assists.
It wasn’t too long ago that City splashed out on another one of Europe’s top young centre-backs, as they paid £65m in 2020 to bring Ruben Dias to the Etihad Stadium from Benfica.
Now that the club’s attentions reportedly turn to Gvardiol, the youngster could end up being a better version of the Portugal defender in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Comparing their 2021/22 league campaigns, in which both players made 29 league appearances for their respective teams, the Leipzig defender won more tackles and made more successful pressures, blocks, interceptions and clearances than City’s Portuguese star.
Gvardiol even ended the season with a higher percentage of aerial duels won and more shots at goal than Dias.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that the former Dinamo Zagreb youngster certainly has the defensive credentials to be a useful addition to City’s ranks, especially if Ake ends up leaving.
To get a better insight into what sort of player the 20-year-old is, former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic had this to say about the young centre-back: “Gvardiol is an extraordinary talent. He can play great long balls, is a fine technician and is physically very strong.”
According to CIES, the Leipzig defender is currently valued at around €120m (£102m), which shows the sort of money that it could take to get the player out of Germany.
Should Ake find himself waving goodbye to the Etihad in the coming weeks, City should definitely make an approach to Leipzig to see if they would be willing to part ways with Gvardiol, who has shown that he seems to have what it takes to be a solid Premier League defender.