Liverpool make Josko Gvardiol top transfer target: report
Liverpool are chasing Josko Gvardiol to bolster their backline in a statement-making move
Liverpool have put RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol top of their summer wishlist, in a big rebuild that could see a transformed backline.
The Croatian 21-year-old was one of the best young players at the World Cup, helping his nation to a third-placed finish in Qatar and capturing attention for his incredibly assured performances in the defence.
There are plenty of suitors for the centre-back – nicknamed 'Little Pep' due to the similarity of his surname with Manchester City's manager – but now Liverpool have emerged as a frontrunner for him.
According to Football Transfers (opens in new tab), Gvardiol is on the wishlist for the Reds' defence, with Jurgen Klopp planning a huge rebuild ahead of next summer.
The Croatian would fit a role on the left side of the defence – Virgil van Dijk's side – but has played at left-back, too, in the past. A totally different profile to Andy Robertson, Gvardiol could see a change of system or more likely, be used alongside Van Dijk on the right, as the Dutchman matures and features less into his 30s.
The Merseysiders are also exploring a move for Benfica star Antonio Silva (opens in new tab) – but trying to sign even one of the players along with other targets might be unrealistic.
Liverpool are believed to be pursuing a nine-figure move for Jude Bellingham – so signing one of Silva or Gvardiol on top of the England international could set them back a lot of money.
Ibrahima Konate cost around £40m from RB Leipzig and Gvardiol is even more highly-rated, while Benfica are in no rush to sell another prized asset following Enzo Fernandez leaving for over £100m, too. The Reds also potentially have more midfield issues to solve beyond Bellingham, with the centre of the park their big weak spot this campaign.
Gvardiol is valued to be worth around €75m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.