Graeme Bailey of 90min has reported that Manchester City are ‘pushing hard’ to complete the signing of Josko Gvardiol before the start of their pre-season tour in Japan.
City are looking to make the RB Leipzig centre-back their second signing of the summer, following the £25m arrival of Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea.
City believe that a deal is close, but that there are still details to be ironed out.
An agreement is not quite there yet
As confirmed by Leipzig’s sporting director Max Eberl last week, Gvardiol and his representatives have made his intention to join City clear.
Personal terms have all but been agreed between club and player, but according to 90min, City have a bit of work to do in terms of meeting Leipzig’s asking price.
Leipzig have made it clear that they want €100m (around £86m) for Gvardiol, a sum that would make the 21-year-old the most expensive defender in history.
90min have reported that a payment structure needs to be ironed out, but that both parties expect the deal to be completed within the next couple of weeks.
City are keen to bring Gvardiol – described as “the best centre-back in the world” by his national team manager – on board before they jet off to Japan on their pre-season tour.
Pep Guardiola’s side will take on Yokohama F. Marinos in their first pre-season friendly on July 23.
MCN view: City must and will get the deal done
All the signs are that Gvardiol will become a City player within the next few weeks, and that the slight sticking point over payment structure will not be a huge issue.
Guardiola is a great admirer of the Croatian defender, and with Aymeric Laporte expected to leave City this summer, the manager will be keen to integrate his new signing into his squad as soon as possible.
City will want to complete the deal on their terms, but they must remember that despite the world-record fee for a defender, they would end up paying more if they waited until 2024 and activated Gvardiol’s £98m release clause.