Liverpool make Josko Gvardiol top transfer target: report

Liverpool target Josko Gvardiol of Croatia poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

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. 

Josko Gvardiol

Josko Gvardiol has become one of the most highly-rated young players in Europe this season (Image credit: Getty)

According to Football Transfers, 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 – but trying to sign even one of the players along with other targets might be unrealistic. 

Antonio Silva of Benfica celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between SL Benfica and Juventus at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on October 25, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Antonio Silva is on the radar for Liverpool (Image credit: Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

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

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Meanwhile, Liverpool's plan is still to swoop for Jude Bellingham over the summer.

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