Man City may frustrate Liverpool again as Pep Guardiola ‘intensifies transfer interest’

Man City could be about to swoop in for RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol despite his fondness for Premier League rivals Liverpool

Manchester City could frustrate Liverpool again in the summer transfer window as Pep Guardiola ‘intensifies transfer interest’ in Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol. The Premier League champions have identified the £90million defender as a replacement for Aymeric Laporte and could outbid Liverpool for his services.

Despite City being one win away from a treble winning season, Spanish international Laporte has been frustrated having started just 10 Premier League games this season. With two years left on his contract Laporte said he had enjoyed this season “much less” and broke down in tears as City lifted the Premier League trophy.

Laporte has helped City to five league titles since signing from Athletic Bilbao for £57.2million in January 2018 but after slipping down the pecking order looks set to exit the Etihad this summer. The Telegraph have reported that City are to ‘intensify their interest’ in defender Gvardiol in their bid to replace Laporte.

Liverpool were urged to pursue a summer deal for Gvardiol by former star Steve McManaman after the Croatian expressed a fondness for the club. However, the 21-year-old is contracted with RB Leipzig until 2027 and according to Sky Germany has a £90million release clause which will become active next year.

Gvardiol would improve a Liverpool defence which conceded 47 Premier League goals last season but would come at a hefty price believed to be at least £90m. However, Jurgen Klopp may have to address Liverpool’s defence this summer with the futures of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip’s up for debate.

RB Leipzig have previously shown their desire to keep the talented defender with Chelsea having a £77.4million offer turned down last August. Liverpool are set to appoint Jorg Schmadtke as their new director on a short-term contract to help Klopp attract key names this summer – but a Gvardiol transfer looks unlikely.

However, with a midfield rebuild their priority Klopp could be left frustrated if City splash their cash and entice Gvardiol into signing on a long-term contract. Gvardiol has previously spoken about his desire to play in the Premier League and told the Times that he ‘struggled’ with RB Leipzig’s decision to reject a move from Chelsea.

“My agent called me and said that Chelsea is extremely interested and, of course, you definitely think about a serious offer from a huge club like Chelsea,” Gvardiol said. “Leipzig said they didn’t want to sell me. In the end I really struggled with that decision but we didn’t make an agreement. It is what it is.”