Josko Gvardiol signs new RB Leipzig contract as Chelsea and Man City eye future transfer

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Josko Gvardiol has agreed a new RB Leipzig contract amid transfer interest from Chelsea.

The Croatian defender is now tied to the Bundesliga outfit until 2027, with his previous deal having been due to expire one summer earlier.

Gvardiol has become one of European football’s most highly-rated young defenders at Leipzig since returning from a loan stint at former club Dinamo Zagreb.

The versatile 20-year-old’s performances have certainly not gone unnoticed in the Premier League, with reports earlier this week suggesting that Chelsea had submitted an offer for his services worth €90million (£77.7m) as the summer deadline loomed.

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The idea was apparently for the Blues to sign Gvardiol now, before loaning him back to Leipzig until next summer, with Thomas Tuchel having already sealed a £70m deal for Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana.

However, while another bid has not been forthcoming on deadline day, Standard Sport understands that Chelsea - who also signed Kalidou Koulibaly this summer after losing both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers - could return for a player they have scouted for several years as soon as the January window as they seek a long-term replacement for Thiago Silva, who turns 38 this month.

Manchester City are also thought to be huge admirers of Gvardiol, though Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff recently stated that he expected the player to stay put potentially through the 2023-24 season.

“I am very happy to have signed an early contract extension through 2027, because there is a lot more that I want to achieve with RB Leipzig,” Gvardiol said on Thursday. “I can sense the club’s desire to help further my development. We are back in the Champions League, we won the DFB-Pokal last year and want to play for trophies once again this season.

“I am very grateful to the club’s executives for including me in their long-term plans and want to continue their path with me on board.”

However, there are signs that Leipzig may already be planning for life without Gvardiol, with the club rumoured to be signing fellow Croatian Josip Sutalo before loaning him back to Zagreb.