Chelsea have accelerated talks over a £45million star who is on head coach Graham Potter’s radar following an ‘exceptional’ World Cup, it has been claimed.
Chelsea have accelerated talks as they look to lure RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol to Stamford Bridge next month, transfer insider Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.
Graham Potter, who was appointed as the Blues’ head coach in September, will have the opportunity to freshen up his squad when the January window opens for business.
GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones
Chelsea transfer news – Josko Gvardiol
According to the Mirror, Chelsea are planning to make a move for Gvardiol next month as they look to beat Real Madrid to his signature.
The report suggests Leipzig will demand £45million, with performance-related add-ons to follow, while the Blues have spoken with the Croatia international’s representatives about an initial contract offer of three-and-a-half seasons.
But Chelsea are facing additional competition from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United, along with reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, for Gvardiol’s services.
Journalist Simon Phillips recently told GiveMeSport that the west Londoners have attempted to win the race for the central defender by tying him down to a ‘pre-deal’, but they have failed to reach an agreement.
Chelsea are long-term admirers of Gvardiol and began keeping tabs on his progress when he was 16.
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
What has Dean Jones said about Gvardiol?
Jones understands that Chelsea are fully focused on attempting to land Gvardiol and have not contemplated making a move for any other defenders.
The journalist is aware that the Blues have upped the ante in their pursuit and are hopeful of reaching an agreement with Leipzig soon.
Jones told GiveMeSport: “On the back of his World Cup performances, this is the time to accelerate talks with Gvardiol, not find an alternative.
“As far as I understand, that is exactly what’s happened. Chelsea are looking to get this Gvardiol deal sealed as soon as they possibly can.”
Why is Gvardiol a target for Chelsea?
Gvardiol shone at the World Cup, with Sofascore statistics showing he averaged 5.3 clearances, 1.6 interceptions and 1.3 tackles per outing in Qatar.
Those figures emphasise that the 20-year-old would make Chelsea more difficult to break down, while a goal courtesy of a textbook diving header during the third place play-off win over Morocco was not a bad way to bring the curtain down on his tournament.
Gvardiol’s performances on the world’s biggest stage also resulted in widespread praise, with The Guardian journalist Jacob Steinberg describing him as an ‘exceptional defender’.
He has made a promising start to the season at club level as well, with Leipzig only losing three Bundesliga matches and being unbeaten in the Champions League when he has been on the pitch.
That shows how important Gvardiol is to his current employers, but Chelsea should pounce when the transfer window reopens.
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