Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.
What’s the word?
That is according to the ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano who took to Twitter to issue the exclusive news.
On his personal Twitter page, the Italian said:
“Exclusive: Chelsea are in advanced talks with RB Leipzig to sign Joško Gvardiol! Deal would be completed now but with Gvardiol staying at RB Leipzig, he’d join Chelsea in June 2023.
“Official proposal submitted today around €90m. Negotiations ongoing on clubs side.”
A shock transfer twist
The news surrounding Chelsea’s latest defensive acquisition comes as somewhat of a shock for a couple of reasons.
When Fofana’s transfer is made official, the Blues will have spent around £238million. So the fact that the side are willing to splash a further £77.3million (€90m) to take the total to around £315million seems gargantuan.
But, this is part of Boehly’s “top talents strategy” which focuses on creating a conveyor belt of talent ready to harness for years to come.
We’ve already seen the new owner and self-appointed sporting director invest heavily in youth, with the likes of Cesare Casadei, Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina just some of the pieces that fit into Boehly’s plans.
And with Fofana clearly fancied as an option for the present, a move for 20-year-old Gvardiol, a progressive ball-playing defender who has a wealth of unspent potential, despite garnering an impressive amount of minutes for both club and Country, makes sense.
Another element of shock airing from this deal is the fact that Chelsea find themselves in a defensive crisis which has seen them concede eight goals in their first five games of the season, rendering them the sixth worst defence in the league thus far.
You would think that there would be an immediate opportunity for Gvardiol to assert himself as a regular, with Tuchel clearly bewildered at this current moment as to which is his strongest system and first XI, respectively.
Though Boehly and co clearly feel as though the young Croatian is in a suitable place to continue his development and will look to reap the rewards next season in what could be a genuine transfer masterclass by Boehly.