Liverpool initiate discussions to sign Josko Gvardiol

Liverpool have approached RB Leipzig over Josko Gvardiol but face plenty of competition for the Croatian centre-back in the summer.

Fabrizio Romano via Caught Offside insists Liverpool are interested in Josko Gvardiol. Jurgen Klopp intends to strengthen his backline in the summer. He faces thick competition from rivals for the 21-year-old Croatian international.

Josko Gvardiola proved he was worth the hype with some accomplished performances for Croatia at the World Cup. He also showed RB Leipzig made a justified decision to keep him on board despite reported interest from Chelsea in the previous summer.

Leipzig are already bracing themselves for big proposals in the summer, having also held their ground in the January market. A host of Premier League giants could come in for the 21-year-old defender, with the player giving mixed signals about his future.

The 21-year-old opened up on his failed move to Chelsea and insisted he was keen. Moreover, he has reiterated that Liverpool remain his dream club and is keen to move to Real Madrid if the opportunity presents itself. The idea of joining a big club remains visible, but there are chances his mixed signals could erupt into a transfer battle.

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Liverpool are open to paying big for Gvardiol, but their competition would make it tougher to sign the defender. Jurgen Klopp has identified the need to reinforce his central defensive areas and replace some ageing defenders.

The big problem for Liverpool could come from the interest of Real Madrid in Gvardiol and Manchester City. Fabrizio Romano recently suggested that the Reds have already contacted RB Leipzig over the defender. Meanwhile, Chelsea are also adamant on trying to sign the 21-year-old in the summer, having chased him in the last two windows.

Romano said, “Chelsea remain interested in Josko Gvardiol; he’s a player they really appreciate. “Other clubs are now in the race as well, with Liverpool approaching Leipzig over Gvardiol in January, and Manchester City are absolutely in the race too; Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the player. Everything is open, but it’s never easy to get a deal done with Leipzig, still I think he could be one of the big deals of the summer.”

Klopp could see Gvardiol as a long-term replacement for Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman may have recovered his form, helping Liverpool push for a top-four place. His longer-term prospects have been cast doubt following some dismal displays during the season.

Many believe van Dijk may have passed his best and would need replacing soon. Maybe Klopp would keep him in the team for the medium term, but someone like Gvardiol would take his place sooner rather than later.

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