Manchester City poised to shatter transfer record for a squad-completing defender: report

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 final match between FC Internazionale and Manchester City FC at Atatuerk Olympic Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey.
(Image credit: Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City are in talks with a defender who could practically complete their squad.

The Citizens have recently won a historic Treble, sewing up a first-ever Champions League to go with a third straight Premier League title and second FA Cup under Pep Guardiola – but the squad is by no means complete in the eyes of the Catalan, who has been looking for a left-back ever since last summer.

Manchester City want a very specific kind of player, equally adept in defensive situations as a centre-back in a back three, or charging forward as a wing-back. Last year, Marc Cucurella came close to moving to the Etihad Stadium, opting to join Chelsea instead. 

Marc Cucurella of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on September 03, 2022 in London, England.

Manchester City pursued Marc Cucurella last summer (Image credit: Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that negotiations are "progressing well" for RB Leipzig star, Josko Gvardiol, who wowed at the World Cup for third-placed Croatia.

"Understand Manchester City are advancing on Josko Gvardiol deal on player side," he tweeted. "Leipzig will only sell Gvardiol for huge fee otherwise they are prepared to keep him for one more season."

With a fee of around £100 million touted at certain stages of Gvardiol's development, there is a chance that City could actually break their all-time transfer record – currently held by Jack Grealish. 

This feels somewhat unlikely given that Leipzig have never received nine figures for a player before but given that the east German outfit are prepared to hold onto the Croatian if need be, could force City's hand in paying nine figures. Chelsea and Liverpool have both been linked with Gvardiol, too.

Josko Gvardiol of Croatia poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Josko Gvardiol could leave the Bundesliga for a huge fee (Image credit: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

City are also in talks with Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic, according to Romano, with personal terms 100 per cent agreed.

Gvardiol is valued at €75m by Transfermarkt

More Manchester City stories

After securing a historic Treble, Manchester City will look to build on their squad ahead of next season.

Jude Bellingham reportedly turned down the new European champions after taking inspiration from Erling Haaland's career path – though Alphonso Davies could move to the Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan is a target for Arsenal.

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