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Spurs: Antonio Conte interested in Josko Gvardiol

Tottenham Hotspur are interested in a deal to bring Josko Gvardiol to the Premier League.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato.it, who claim both Antonio Conte’s side and top-flight rivals Chelsea are big admirers of the RB Leipzig centre-back, while Serie A duo Inter Milan and Juventus are also believed to be keen on a move for the 20-year-old defender.

However, the Croatia international’s agent, Marjan Sisic, revealed in an interview with the same outlet that Gvardiol is in no rush to leave the Bundesliga side, despite his claim that interested parties are calling him regarding a potential move for the £80m-valued starlet almost constantly.

Regarding the defender’s future, Sisic said:

“At the moment, we are very happy with Leipzig – it was the ideal choice for him after his years at Dinamo Zagreb.

“After the World Cup, I know that Josko will be completely concentrated on the Bundesliga, the national Cup and the Champions League. We are taking one step at a time and carefully building his career, always talking and deciding the next step together.

“My phone rings all the time, it’s not a secret. But that’s how it is ever since he stepped onto an important stage, playing for the Dinamo Zagreb first team. But I repeat, we are in no hurry.”

The next Ramos

Considering the remarkable rise to stardom Gvardiol has enjoyed over the last few years, it is not hard to comprehend why the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, Inter and Juventus are reported to be interested in the 20-year-old – as the defender very much looks to be something of a generational talent.

Indeed, despite his tender age, the £103m-rated stopper has already proven himself to be one of the world’s best defenders, with FBref ranking the youngster in the top 25% of centre-backs in Europe’s big five leagues for interceptions per 90, as well as the top 1% for passes attempted, the top 5% for progressive passes and the top 1% for dribbles completed over the last 365 days.

These metrics highlight not only Gvardiol’s exceptional reading of the game, but also the Leipzig sensation’s remarkable ability to both carry and play the ball out from the back – something that makes it easy to see that the Croatian bases his game on Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Sergio Ramos, a player who shares all three of the aforementioned characteristics.

Again, similar to the Spaniard, the £19k-per-week gem also poses a significant threat in the opposition third, with FBref ranking Gvardiol in the top 18% of European centre-backs for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the top 10% for non-penalty xG, the top 23% for shots and the top 12% for shot-creating actions over the past 12 months.

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Rather unsurprisingly, these metrics see the analytical database list Ramos as one of the 20-year-old’s most comparable players, something that would suggest the 14-cap international could well go on to make a similar impact on the game to that of the legend who made 671 appearances and won almost every club trophy possible during his time at Real Madrid.

As such, it is plain to see why Conte would be keen on a move to bring the left-footed star to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the player who Ryan Taylor dubbed both a “man mountain” and “exceptional” would not only represent an excellent addition to the Italian’s current options at the back, but he could also become Spurs’ own Ramos-esque leader in north London.