Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol responds to Chelsea rumours

Josko Gvardiol
(Image credit: Getty)

Josko Gvardiol has acknowledged Chelsea (opens in new tab)’s attempts to sign him and refused to rule our joining the club in future.

According to The Athletic (opens in new tab), Gvardiol is flattered by their interest but confirmed that he is focused on doing his best for RB Leipzig (opens in new tab).

With his strength, reading of the game and ease in possession, the 20-year-old is already considered one of the finest defenders in world football at such a tender age.

After tasting plenty of success as a teenager with Dinamo Zagreb (opens in new tab), he helped Leipzig win the DFB-Pokal in his first season at the club.

That led to speculation linking Gvardiol with some of Europe’s top sides, including Chelsea, who had a €90 million bid rejected during the summer.

“About me and Chelsea? I don’t know. You know what happened in the last few months. To be honest, I have no idea,” he said.

“My agent is taking care of this, and we will see. Right now, I’m happy in Leipzig. I don’t know, we will see – you never know. 

“It’s a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there. It’s really nice to see things like this, especially because there is (Mateo) Kovacic, so you never know. I talk with him.

"You know the stories and these things, but all I can say is that I’m happy in Leipzig and right now I’m going to stay there and perform for them.”

Gvardiol recently agreed to terms on a new contract at Leipzig, which runs until 2027 but is believed to contain a £45million release clause that becomes active next summer.

He has been one of Croatia (opens in new tab)’s leading lights at the World Cup, marshalling a defence that only conceded once in their three group games.

Zlatko Dalic’s side finished second with five points, knocking out Belgium (opens in new tab), one of the pre-tournament favourites, in the process.

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Sean Cole

Sean Cole is a freelance journalist. He has written for FourFourTwo, BBC Sport and When Saturday Comes among others. A Birmingham City supporter and staunch Nikola Zigic advocate, he once scored a hat-trick at St. Andrew’s (in a half-time game). He also has far too many football shirts and spends far too much time reading the Wikipedia pages of obscure players.