Chelsea could be set to beat London rivals Tottenham to the signing of Josko Gvardiol now that their ownership issues have been resolved. The consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed the purchase of the club at the end of May, ending the sanctions imposed on them by the UK government and allowing them to pursue transfer targets.
The priority for the west London outfit will be two central defenders, with Antonio Rudiger’s move to Spanish champions Real Madrid confirmed on Thursday, whilst Andreas Christensen is believed to be close to joining Barcelona. RB Leipzig star Gvardiol has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge as a potential replacement alongside Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
According to the Daily Mail, the Blues are now expected to step up their interest in both defenders now that their ownership worries are behind them and are prepared back Thomas Tuchel with significant funds. Spurs have also been linked with a move for Gvardiol with Antonio Conte reportedly keen to add a left-sided centre-back to his squad.
The 20-year-old Croatian international is under contract at the Red Bull Arena until the summer of 2026 and Leipzig are keen to keep hold of their emerging star. However, with no buyout clause in his deal the German side’s resolve is likely to be tested this summer.
Gvardiol joined Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported fee of £14.5million in the summer of 2020, a deal at the time that made him Croatia’s most expensive teenager. He spent the rest of the season on loan at Dinamo before starting the 2021/22 campaign with his new club.
The Croatian enjoyed an impressive first season with Leipzig; making 46 appearances across all competitions to help the club finish fourth in Bundesliga, progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League and win the German cup. His impressive and mature displays have led to him becoming one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe.