Recruitment staff at Liverpool are very impressed by what they’ve seen from RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
Gvardiol has quickly emerged as perhaps the next great centre-half talent in European football. To that end, plenty of clubs have been credited with an interest in taking him away from Leipzig this summer.
Today, The Athletic have assessed who those interested clubs are, as well as their chances of signing the Croatian. Unsurprisingly given the copious links over recent months, Liverpool are named as a potential suitor for Gvardiol.
The Reds ‘senior’ recruitment team are claimed to be admirers of the 21-year-old having ‘tracked him closely.’ However, given the big fee attached to Gvardiol, and Liverpool’s need for midfield additions, signing the defender is reportedly ‘unlikely’ this summer.
In better news for Liverpool, The Athletic don’t seem to rate any of their rivals chances too highly either. Manchester City are said to need to move on a centre-back to sign Gvardiol, which may be ‘complicated.’ Meanwhile, Chelsea are claimed to be prioritising other positions and the same is reportedly true of Real Madrid.
For now, it would appear that the most likely scenario is that Gvardiol stays at Leipzig for another season. It is claimed that he could ask to leave for less than his £97m release clause. But in that even his current club will likely ‘hold their ground.’
Liverpool ready to go big on game-changers?
It’s no secret that Liverpool are actively interested in Gvardiol. As they look to find a successor to Virgil van Dijk, he appears to be the most natural fit.
Regardless of that, there is one obvious issue relating to a transfer. Everyone knows how badly the Reds need to upgrade their midfield this summer. Whatever budget they have is likely to go virtually fully on doing that. With Gvardiol’s stock so high, it’s hard to see how Liverpool could sign him as well as some top midfield additions.
Having said that, FSG have proven that they’ll go big where needed in the past. Van Dijk and Alisson Becker were both seen as being ‘game-changing’ signings by the owners five years ago. They were brought in for a combined £142m within six months of each other.
The owners then sanctioned a further layout of £100m or so to bring in Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri. Having kept their powder relatively dry since, Liverpool are due another big splurge to reboot the squad.
If Jude Bellingham and Gvardiol are seen in a similar ‘game-changing’ view by recruitment staff, we can’t absolutely rule out a move for both. It would be a huge signal of intent by Liverpool, and one that could lead to another cycle of success.
For Gvardiol’s part, he’s already signalled how much he’d love a move to Anfield. He’s surely available at the right price this summer. The ball is very much in Liverpool’s court.
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