Chelsea are reportedly locked in advanced talks with RB Leipzig over a move that would see Josko Gvardiol arrive in June 2023 for €90 million.

Chelsea are in advanced talks with RB Leipzig to buy Josko Gvardiol. That is according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who claims the plan is for the Croatian international to remain with the Bundesliga club this season and join Chelsea next summer in a deal reported to be worth around €90 million. The negotiations between the two clubs are active and at an advanced stage.

The 20-year-old is one of the hottest defensive prospects in world football and has been the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer transfer window, having also been linked with a move to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur last month.

However, the Bundesliga outfit were not prepared to sell him this summer, underlining his value to the team. And they continued to maintain this stance by extending his deal at the Red Bull Arena until 2026 earlier this summer to ward off suitors.

It now seems Chelsea have gazumped their rivals in the race for Gvardiol by offering a hefty fee right now. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has stated the west London club had entered into advanced discussions with Leipzig after submitting a €90 million bid on Tuesday and are expected to wrap up the deal swiftly before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Given how late it is in the window, this update comes as a surprise, and it is reported that the Bundesliga club are concerned over finding an apt replacement in such little time. As a result, the 20-year-old Croat will be staying at Leipzig for the ongoing season on loan before moving to Stamford Bridge in June 2023.

Thomas Tuchel’s priority heading into this summer has been to revamp his backline after parting ways with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, while Marcos Alonso could also follow them to La Liga. While the West Londoners have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, and the £70 million arrival of Wesley Fofana is impending, they are set to make another massive investment by pursuing a deal for Gvardiol.

Tuchel has been a long-term admirer of the 20-year-old left-footed defender, who can play as a left-sided centre-back or left-back. The Chelsea boss was believed to be very keen on bringing him to the club earlier in the summer, with Chelsea consistently linked with Gvardiol.

Leipzig are no strangers to such a deal, having agreed on one with Liverpool in advance for €60 million for Naby Keita in 2017. But the Guinean international represented the Bundesliga outfit all through 2017/18 season before joining Liverpool the following summer. This smart strategy allows them time to re-allocate the funds wisely and identify the right players ahead of a departure.

From Chelsea’s perspective, the evergreen Thiago Silva is not going to last forever and needs to be replaced in the near future. Should this deal go through, Gvardiol would register as Chelsea’s third-most expensive transfer in club history, which is yet another sign of the new ownership’s intent to back Tuchel with players that fit his vision for the club’s future.

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