RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol has opened up about failing to join Chelsea in the 2022 summer transfer window.
According to Josko Gvardiol, Chelsea tried to sign him at the start of the season. But RB Leipzig refused to sell him. In an interview with The Times, the Croatian defender has revealed that he was disappointed with the decision from but accepted it in the end and has enjoyed his time at the Bundesliga club.
“I was really confused because one month before the window starts I was upstairs with the sporting director and he says, ‘Yeah Josko, we are not going to sell you, we need you, we believe in you,’ and I was like ok I am fine with this, I can stay here, I like it here, all I need is to work on myself, to play, to win something else. It was like this until the last two days.
“My agent called me and said that Chelsea is extremely interested and, of course, you definitely think about a serious offer from a huge club like Chelsea. Leipzig said they didn’t want to sell me. In the end I really struggled with that decision but we didn’t make an agreement. It is what it is. I am here and I am fine with this because my idea had been to stay here. One season was not enough. This is my second season, even one more season would be great but we will see.”
The 20-year-old centre-back is regarded as one of the best young defenders in the world. And he has the attributes to develop into a world-class player in the future. It is no surprise that Chelsea wanted to sign him given their defensive vulnerabilities.
The Blues ended up signing Benoit Badiashile from AS Monaco. But according to widespread reports, Chelsea remain interested in Gvardiol and could return for the Croatian international at the end of the season. The 20-year-old made quite an impression at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and he was one of the best defenders in the tournament.
The young centre-back was crucial to Croatia’s run to the semi-finals of the tournament, and he has been linked with a number of clubs in recent months. Gvardiol will be hoping to join a big club in the future. And it remains to be seen whether his suitors can agree on a deal with RB Leipzig.
Chelsea have already dealt with the German club in the past when they signed Timo Werner. And they have agreed on a deal to sign Christopher Nkunku from them as well. The player has also been linked with clubs like Liverpool. The Reds need to bring in defensive reinforcements at the end of the season and will hope to sign a talented young player like Gvardiol.
Chelsea certainly have more resources compared to the Reds and will be in a better position to sign the player. That said, both clubs need to secure Champions League qualification in order to attract a talent like him.
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