Kovacic endorses Man City move for Gvardiol

Mateo Kovacic has endorsed Manchester City’s move for international team-mate Josko Gvardiol as the club chase a deal for the defender.

City are in talks with RB Leipzig over a deal to sign the 21-year-old, who has forged a reputation as one of Europe’s best young centre-backs at the Bundesliga side.


Leipzig are demanding a world-record fee for a defender in the region of £87m for Gvardiol and are understood to have informed the Premier League champions that a transfer must be concluded within the next two weeks or the deal will collapse.

Kovacic – who featured alongside Gvardiol as Croatia reached the World Cup semi-finals last winter – has given his verdict on the club’s interest in the centre-back and hopes a deal can be finalised.

“Of course I’d like him (Gvardiol) to join. I know he’s very young and has great potential. He can come here and learn and be the best version of himself, like he wants to be for sure,” Kovacic said on City’s pre-season tour, via the Express.

“It’s not for me to comment if it’s going to happen or not. I’d obviously like it – I’m good friends with him and he’s Croatian. It would be nice to have a Croatian by my side here.

“Josko is still young but he’s very mature for his age. He doesn’t need too much advice. He’s already played a lot of big games and I think he’s ready for this step.

“He had a great World Cup and a great season with RB Leipzig, so it would be nice for him to join such a big club and try to improve even more. I think it’s a good time (to join City).

“They are on a great run, a very confident team and a team you can learn from – and they have possibly the best manager in history. I came here to join a great group and to try to learn – and so can he.”

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