Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol will officially join Manchester City from RB Leipzig for a total of 90 million euros (£77 million).
Since there are no add-ons in the 21-year-old’s contract, the British record for a defender remains as the £80 million Manchester United paid Leicester City for Harry Maguire in 2019.
When Leipzig stated they would not sell for less than €100 million (£86 million), the agreement appeared unlikely to be reached last week. This transaction is, however, intriguing as one of the most highly sought-after young defenders in Europe is joining City.
City is pleased that, after accounting for inflation and differing exchange rates, Gvardiol actually ended up costing less than Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire. They complied with RB Leipzig’s request to close the transaction quickly even if they wouldn’t pay the 100 million euros the Bundesliga club requested. Aymeric Laporte will be let go as a result of the action.
Since joining Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021, he has played an important role in his 87 appearances for the club. Later this week, Gvardiol is expected to travel to England for a medical exam. Gvardiol, who can also play as a left-back, is City’s second significant acquisition of the summer after Mateo Kovacic, a fellow Croatian who joined the Ethihad from Chelsea in June for an initial £25 million.
Ilkay Gundogan, the captain from last season, joined Barcelona on a free transfer, and Kovacic will essentially take Gundogan’s spot in City’s midfield. Meanwhile, winger Riyad Mahrez just signed a £30 million agreement with Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia.