Chelsea report: Blues plot winter raid for Josko Gvardiol to steal march on Real Madrid

Josko Gvardiol
(Image credit: Getty)

Chelsea are reportedly hoping to steal a march on Real Madrid in the race for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol by making a bid for the £45 million-rated defender in January.

The 20-year-old was one of the standout young players at World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) as he helped Croatia reach the semi-finals and beat Morocco in the third place play-off.

Gvardiol has attracted the attention of Chelsea and The Mirror (opens in new tab) reports that the Premier League club intend to make a move for him during the January transfer window.

Real Madrid are also interested, but would prefer to do a deal at the end of the season – which is also Leipzig’s preference.

But the Blues have already made contact with the centre-back’s representatives and are willing to table a three-and-a-half year contract.

Chelsea were the biggest spenders in the summer transfer window, splashing out around £278m, while they’ve already completed a deal to bring in Gvardiol's Leipzig team-mate Christopher Nkunku next summer (opens in new tab).

Gvardiol has a deal to 2027 with Leipzig, who he joined from Dinamo Zagreb in July 2020 before spending the first season on loan at the Croatian club.

The youngster has impressed in the Bundesliga and the Champions League for the German side, winning the German Cup in his debut season last term.

He played every minute of Croatia’s stunning run to the last four at the World Cup and scored in their third place play-off win over Morocco.

Gvardiol is valued at €60m (£52m) by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

More Chelsea stories

Chelsea are on red alert amid reports that Juventus could try to prise Mason Mount (opens in new tab) away from Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are one of three Premier League clubs (opens in new tab) looking to sign Josko Gvardiol, who has starred for Croatia at World Cup 2022.

And long-time transfer target Declan Rice has admitted he is open to a move away from West Ham (opens in new tab) next summer.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.