Spurs boss Conte using ‘inside agent’ at World Cup to hijack Chelsea move for £80m defender

Gvardiol Croatia Credit: Alamy
Gvardiol Croatia Credit: Alamy

Antonio Conte is using an ‘inside agent’ in an attempt to hijack Chelsea’s move for Croatia star Josko Gvardiol.

Gvardiol signed for RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2021 and quickly established himself as a regular for the German side.

The 20-year-old played 46 times across all competitions last season and has played the full 90 minutes in both of Croatia’s games at the World Cup so far.

Late on in the summer window, Chelsea reportedly made a €90m bid for Gvardiol with the intention of loaning him back to Leipzig for the season.

But the clubs couldn’t come to an agreement and the centre-back instead decided to renew his contract with the Bundesliga side.

His performances since that renewal have led to interest from other interested parties including Tottenham, and TMW (via Sport Witness) report that Conte is using Ivan Perisic to ‘try to convince’ Gvardiol to join.

The Spurs boss has urged Perisic to whisper sweet nothings in his compatriot’s ear during the tournament in Qatar ahead of a potential transfer next summer.

But they will face stiff competition, particularly from Chelsea, who remain very keen on the 20-year-old having missed out on him in the summer.

Having signed his extension in September, Gvardiol said: “I’m very happy to have extended the contract early until 2027, because I still want to achieve a lot with RB Leipzig.

“I feel the club’s confidence to continue my development. We’re in the Champions League again, won the DFB Cup last year and want to play for titles again this year.

“I am very grateful to those responsible at the club that they plan long-term with me and want to continue on this successful path with me.”

The Croatian was then asked about reports of Chelsea’s interest and left the door open to a possible transfer in January or the summer.

“I’m happy at Leipzig, I still have a lot to learn and need to work on myself. I have people who deal with it, I didn’t think about a transfer. We’ll see what happens in the winter,” Gvardiol added.

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