Chelsea are reportedly lining up a move for 20-year-old Croatian centre-back Josko Gvardiol from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.

According to a report by London Evening Standard, Chelsea are exploring the possibility of signing RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol. The Blues are expected to move in for the 20-year-old Croatian international if they fail to sign either one of Presnel Kimpembe and Jules Kounde this summer.

Chelsea’s search for top-class central defenders this summer has been well documented. The departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen and the potential exits of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta have forced the Blues to actively look for defensive reinforcements.

Chelsea recently signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a £33 million deal, but they are still in need of one more centre-back. Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is one defender who has been on their wishlist since last summer, but they are yet to make a decisive breakthrough in his pursuit.

While Sevilla increased their asking price at the last minute last summer, Barcelona’s interest this year has hampered Chelsea’s chances so far. However, some reports claim that they have agreed on personal terms with the Frenchman, with a £51 million fee being quoted.

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The Blues are also being linked with a £50 million move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe, who has previously played under manager Thomas Tuchel during the German tactician’s time with PSG. Kimpembe, however, is not completely sold on the idea of leaving the French giants.

The report claims that both N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva have tried to convince the 26-year-old, but to no avail. Therefore, Chelsea are ready with a list of alternatives, and Gvardiol seems to be on top of that.

The 20-year-old joined Leipzig just last summer and became an integral part of their defence immediately. He made 46 appearances for them across competitions, also scoring two goals and providing three assists.

Leipzig will be reluctant to sell the defender this summer, but a suitable offer from Chelsea could convince them to sanction the move. Gvardiol is also attracting interest from Arsenal and Manchester City. Meanwhile, Tuchel has demanded the club’s new owners sign at least two more top-class central defenders following Koulibaly’s arrival.

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