La Liga champions Real Madrid are reportedly behind Manchester City in the race to sign in-demand RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

According to reputed Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Manchester City and Real Madrid will contest the battle for Josko Gvardiol. And the Premier League champions have overtaken their Spanish counterpart after preparing a bid worth around €130 million. They are also willing to offer a much higher salary than Real Madrid.

Josko Gvardiol has become one of the most highly sought-after players in the market on the back of a splendid World Cup campaign. The Croat has been one of the best defenders in Qatar, which has alerted some of Europe’s most high-profile clubs. And the youngster has also been a pivotal figure at the club level with RB Leipzig.

The 20-year-old joined the German outfit last year and has been one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga. Gvardiol has turned out 19 times while chipping in with one goal this term. And the player’s performances have captured the attention of bigwigs like Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Real Madrid recently joined the race to sign Gvardiol. And the interest in the Croatian defender comes in the wake of uncertainties surrounding Ferland Mendy and Nacho. While Real Madrid might sell the former in the summer, the latter has not committed his future to them and might leave as a free agent.

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Gvardiol has thus emerged as a viable target for Real Madrid, as he can play as a centre-back and a left-back. But Los Blancos will face stiff competition from Manchester City, who will be open to paying around €130 million, including add-ons, for the Croat. That bid eclipses his reported price tag, worth €100 million.

The interest from Manchester City is surprising, considering they signed a centre-back in the summer. And Pep Guardiola has five viable candidates for the central defensive berths. So unless the Manchester City manager plans to deploy the 20-year-old as a left-back, the move does not make sense. Nonetheless, the English champions are ready to break the bank to sign Gvardiol.

In addition, Manchester City will be open to handing the youngster a contract worth around €12 million per year. That sum eclipses Real Madrid’s potential contract offer, worth €6 million per year. So Real Madrid will need to step up considerably to beat Manchester City to Gvardiol’s signature.

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