After a long-drawn-out negotiation process, Manchester City have finally announced the signing of RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.
The highly rated centre-back has been strongly linked with a move away from the Red Bull Arena since his extraordinary performances for Croatia at the 2022 World Cup.
Gvardiol’s switch to the Etihad Stadium will cost Man City a whopping £77.6 million, making him the second most expensive centre-back in world football.
The former Dinamo Zagreb man is Man City’s second signing of the Premier League transfer window following the arrival of his countryman Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea.
“I have always dreamed of one day playing in England and to be doing so now with Manchester City – after the season they have just had – is a real honour for me,” Gvardiol said.
“To be joining City is something very special for me and my family. To have the chance to work with Pep Guardiola, too, will be amazing.
“I know I am not yet the finished article, and I am sure my game will progress under the best coach in football.”
Gvardiol’s arrival will most likely spell the end for Aymeric Laporte, who struggled for playing time last season after making just 12 appearances in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old has been a mainstay at the heart of the Man City defence since he arrived from Athletico Bilbao in January 2018 but fell out of favour at the Etihad last term.
Laporte has already been linked with a return to the Basque club, with the Cityzens now boasting up to six top-class centre-backs, including Gvardiol.
The Croatia international centre-back has proven his value on the biggest stage in world football after helping his country to a third-placed finish at the World Cup.
However, Man City will hope his commanding transfer fee will not affect his undoubted talent as they prepare to defend their titles next season.
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