Tottenham, Chelsea joined by Barcelona in hunt for Leipzig sensation as replacement for legend eyed

Josko Gvardiol and Dani Olmo Credit: Alamy
Josko Gvardiol and Dani Olmo Credit: Alamy

Tottenham and Chelsea will face competition from Barcelona in their pursuit of a valuable RB Leipzig star, according to one source.

Leipzig have done exceptionally well to create a squad full of top-class stars. Some of the most notable names in their setup include Christopher Nkunku, Josko Gvardiol, Dani Olmo and Konrad Laimer.

The Red Bull-owned club finished fourth in the German Bundesliga last season, while also winning the DFB-Pokal. This term, they sit third in the Bundesliga, ahead of big teams like Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Unfortunately for Leipzig, their success is sparking interest from other clubs in some of their best players.

Nkunku is a top transfer target for Chelsea. Reports claim he has already had a medical with the Blues ahead of a 2023 switch to west London.

Laimer, meanwhile, is on Liverpool’s list of potential midfield signings. Jurgen Klopp’s side could submit a bid for him if they miss out on Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.

Gvardiol joins Nkunku and Laimer in being wanted by teams outside of Germany. Chelsea made a £77.4m offer for the centre-back in late August, according to The Guardian. However, Leipzig didn’t want to lose him at that point and rejected the proposal.

Chelsea remain on Gvardiol’s trail and are now eyeing a move for him in summer 2023. But the transfer race is getting busy.

Josko Gvardiol race hotting up

Tottenham hope to sign Gvardiol next year as well, to improve Antonio Conte’s centre-half options. And now the two London clubs will have to fend off a European giant.

Goal’s live transfer blog (17/11, at 23:17), which cites Spanish newspaper Sport, claims Barcelona have set their sights on Gvardiol.

Xavi is in need of a new central defender following the mid-season retirement of club legend Gerard Pique. And Gvardiol is the man Xavi has landed on.

It seems Barca have scouted the Croatia international on several occasions and like what they see. They will monitor his performances at the World Cup and will likely begin negotiations with Leipzig for him next year, although it’s unclear whether this will take place in January or the summer.

Barca’s financial problems have been well documented in the last year or so. But they remain a real threat to teams like Spurs and Chelsea when it comes to transfers.

During the summer, Barca beat Chelsea to the signings of 25-year-old winger Raphinha and French defender Jules Kounde. To make matters worse for Chelsea, they also snapped up Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso on free transfers.

Spurs and Chelsea must be wary of Barca

Even though Barca cannot offer as big wages as Spurs or Chelsea, they still have serious pulling power due to their illustrious history. This factor proved vital in attracting Raphinha and Kounde to the Camp Nou.

Spurs and Chelsea will be worried about the same thing happening to Gvardiol. As such, the Prem teams need to get a move on and try to strike a transfer agreement with Leipzig as soon as possible.

Then, they will be able to offer him a lucrative contract to tempt him to England.

Gvardiol would be a brilliant signing for either Spurs or Chelsea. He has proven himself to be one of the most exciting young defenders in world football over the past few years.

He is still only 20 but already has plenty of Bundesliga and Champions League experience. Whoever signs him will be getting a great player for the present, but also a fantastic prospect for the future.

Meanwhile, Phil Foden has heaped praise on an England teammate who has been strongly tipped to join Tottenham in a big-money deal in 2023.

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