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Chelsea renew interest in World Cup defensive star Josko Gvardiol

Chelsea have renewed their interest in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, according to The Times.

The Blues have been monitoring the 21-year-old since last summer. They tried to sign him but could not agree a deal.

Chelsea tried again in January, but his value increased following his performances at the 2022 World Cup.

Gvardiol was a defensive titan for Croatia. Partnering with the more experienced Dejan Lovren, he was aggressive in his challenges, dominantly shutting out attackers.

Chelsea were no longer alone in the chase for the young defensive star. Manchester City had submitted an €80 million bid for him last summer, but Leipzig rejected it.

The Cityzens continued to track him, but Gvardiol had also attracted the interest of La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Chelsea moved on and signed Benoit Badiashile from Monaco for £35 million. Many people thought the Gvardiol chapter had closed with the signing of the French defender.

The Blues have the exciting Levi Colwill on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion. They also have another left-sided defender in Kalidou Koulibaly in their squad.

However, Chelsea have returned for Gvardiol. They must move quickly, as he has a £97 million release clause that activates in 2024.

Gvardiol has spoken openly about Chelsea’s interest in him and said he thought about it. He could be thinking about it again if the London club goes back in for him.

He is an all-out defender who plays on the front foot, although sharp attackers can get the better of him sometimes due to his impulsive nature. He possesses impeccable recovery speed to match them.

Even his passing is very front-foot. He made more forward passes (897) than any other outfield player in the Bundesliga last season. He won 58% of all his duels and helped his side keep seven clean sheets in 29 league appearances.

The former Dinamo Zagreb man will be an exciting signing for any club that signs him. He has the potential to be one of the best defenders around in the coming years.

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