Man City lining up £85m transfer for World Cup star as outcast defender looks set to leave club


MANCHESTER CITY are keeping a close eye on RB Leipzig’s financial woes as they weigh up a summer move for defender Josko Gvardiol.

Etihad chief Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of the Croatian World Cup defender, 21.

Manchester City are targeting RB Leipzig star Josko GvardiolGetty

He got a close up view when the two teams met in this season’s Champions League Round of 16 and his view remains the same.

So they could firm up their interest if any defenders decide to leave City and seek a new challenge this summer.

Aymeric Laporte is the most likely to go after falling down the pecking order following the arrival of Manuel Akanji in August.

And Gvardiol’s versatility would appeal to Guardiola as he can also play at left-back where City also have a vacancy.

Leipzig have maintained their defender – who has a release clause of around £98million until 2024 – is not for sale.

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However it is believed a bid in the region of £85m could bring them to the table due to their money worries.

They need to balance the books to get in line with UEFA’s financial fair play guidelines and that is likely to mean another of their stars leaving.

Christopher Nkunku – who is linked with Chelsea – and Konrad Laimer are already expected to leave but there may need to be at least one more major sale.

City are likely to spend most of their summer budget on refreshing their midfield this summer – but look set to miss out on one of their top targets Jude Bellingham.

Skipper Ilkay Gundogan’s contract expires at the end of the season and nothing has yet been agreed, while Bernardo Silva wants talks with the club in the summer.

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Meanwhile, there remains a question mark over whether England ace Kalvin Phillips will make the grade at City after a disappointing first season with them.

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