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Chelsea target Gvardiol could cost €100m, says former manager

Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol is establishing himself as one of the best young defensive talents in Europe.

He has been one of the best defenders at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The RB Leipzig centre-back’s performances have led to interest from Manchester City, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

His ‘sporting father’ at Dinamo Zagreb, Igor Jovicevic, believes that Gvardiol’s ability can fetch €100 million, which would make him the most expensive defender in the world.

“He was in the youth team and I thought he was so good that I took him straight to the team with me,” the Shakhtar Donetsk boss said in an interview with Marca.

“He was 16 years old and already playing in the second division. The workload was very heavy, but he could handle it. We quickly realised that he was going to be a top centre-back.

“I understand that people miss him… but for those of us who know him closely, it’s been more than three years since he stopped surprising us.

“The World Cup, for Josko, is just another day at the office. He grows in every game.

“I think the transfer, if Leipzig push for it, can go up to €100 million, which would make him the most expensive defender in history.”

Jovicevic compared Gvardiol to Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos. He said he had a personality unbefitting his age.

He praised the 20-year-old as a complete defender who relies on physical prowess and intelligence.

Jovicevic said Gvardiol could play for Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and other top clubs.

However, he said he would prefer the player to join Los Blancos.

Real Madrid are reportedly monitoring Gvardiol’s performances. They have been impressed with his displays for Croatia at the World Cup.

They are reportedly ready to rival Manchester City, who submitted an offer for Gvardiol last summer.

Chelsea are also in the picture. The London club has been pushing for Gvardiol since last summer and are reportedly in advanced negotiations.

Madrid have already scuppered Chelsea’s pursuit of Brazilian sensation Endrick.

They may also snatch Gvardiol from the Blues if they don’t seal a deal with Leipzig soon.

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