Real Madrid fear Gvardiol ‘out of reach’ amid Premier League competition

Real Madrid fear the club will be unable to compete for the signature of RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol amid interest from the Premier League.

Gvardiol is on the radar of Europe’s top clubs ahead of the summer transfer window with Real Madrid firm admirers of a player who has forged a reputation as one of Europe’s best young centre-backs.


The Spanish giants held talks with Gvardiol’s representatives in December, following the 21-year-old’s impressive performances for Croatia at the World Cup in Qatar. However, The Athletic are reporting that Real fear the club will be priced out of the race to sign the defender given the financial strength of interested clubs from England.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are all considering an approach for the Croatian centre-back, with Real unable to compete with the Premier League’s finances. Gvardiol has a release clause of £97m in his contract at Leipzig, though the figure does not become active until 2024.

Leipzig are in a strong negotiation position as Europe’s elite circle for the defender and the hierarchy at Real Madrid are concerned the club will not be able to compete with Premier League sides.

That said, there are issues which each of Gvardiol’s three leading suitors from English football. Chelsea – who made an approach last summer – have spent more than £550m across the last two transfer windows and have Benoit Badiashile, Marc Cucurella and Levi Colwill capable of fulfilling a left-sided centre-back role. Manchester City are huge admirers of the defender, but have five senior centre-back options at present and could require exits before making a move.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s primary focus is on midfield reinforcements and pursuits of Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and Wolves’ Matheus Nunes. Whether the Reds have the finances to move for Bellingham – expected to command a fee in excess of £100m – and Gvardiol appears unlikely.

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