Chelsea report: Blues face fresh competition for defensive starlet

Josko Gvardiol
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea could face competition from Manchester City for the signature of Josko Gvardiol, according to reports.

The Blues look set to beat the Premier League champions to the signature of Marc Cucurella, who is in line to move to Stamford Bridge (opens in new tab) from Brighton (opens in new tab).

City (opens in new tab) had been at the front of the queue to sign the Spaniard but withdrew their interest after Brighton refused to lower their asking price.

However, Pep Guardiola's side could now get their revenge by swiping Gvardiol away from under Chelsea (opens in new tab)'s noses.

The west Londoners have been linked with the RB Leipzig (opens in new tab) man for much of the summer, and had supposedly been working on a deal which would see Timo Werner move back to the Red Bull Arena in part-exchange for Gvardiol.

Thomas Tuchel

(Image credit: Getty)

But City hope that a cash-only deal would be more appealing to the German side.

According to Bild (opens in new tab), they have offered £66m for the highly-rated Gvardiol, who can play at centre-half and at left-back.

Pep Guardiola wants to bolster his options at full-back after Oleksandr Zinchenko joined Arsenal (opens in new tab).

The report states that City have been tracking the 20-year-old for some time and the bid has therefore not come out of the blue.

But Leipzig are determined to keep hold of the Croatia international and have turned down City's offer.

Last season was Gvardiol's first as a Leipzig player, although he officially moved to the club in 2020 before returning to hometown side Dinamo Zagreb on loan for one more campaign.

Gvardiol is under contract until the summer of 2026 and Leizpig are not under any financial pressure to sell him.

They believe his value will only rise and are therefore reluctant to cash in on him at this stage.

City and Chelsea may therefore need to look elsewhere as they seek to bolster their defensive ranks before the transfer market closes for business on September 1.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).