Player Missing From Playing Squad With City Set To Win Transfer Race After £77M Fee Is Agreed

Player Missing From Playing Squad With City Set To Win Transfer Race After £77M Fee Is Agreed

RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol was not in the squad for his club’s friendlies against St. Truiden and Altglienicke as he finalises his move to Manchester City, according to Bild.

The German tabloid report that a deal is now “very close”, with the Premier League champions willing to pay €90m (£77m) upfront.

Negotiations between City and Leipzig have been long and arduous, with the treble winners having been unwilling to pay €100m (£86m) that Leipzig have been demanding for Gvardiol.

There have consequently been a lot of claims and counter-claims, with rumours even circulating that rival Premier League clubs Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United could steal the player from under City’s nose.

However, it seems a compromise on the fee is within sight, with Bild saying that an agreement could be reached as soon as Wednesday.

Why have Leipzig been holding out for such a high transfer fee?

It is believed that the Bundesliga side owe Gvardiol’s previous club, Dinamo Zagreb, between 15% and 20% of the fee due to a sell-on clause.

That means that, even if they receive €100m (£86m) from the Croatian international’s sale, they would only get €80m (£69m) to €85m (£73m).

It’s a massive boost for City ahead of the new season

Gvardiol was identified as the Manchester club’s top target very early on in the summer, but negotiations have dragged on a lot longer than anticipated.

However, there is now a strong possibility that the 21-year-old will be available to face Burnley in their first Premier League fixture of the season on Friday week.

Considering Gvardiol’s age and talent, the Citizens could have a player who can lock down a place in the team’s defence for the best part of a decade. Even if they do end up paying the full €100m, it may prove to be worth it.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.