According to reports from Spain, Liverpool are hoping to beat Manchester City to a big-money signing this summer.
Fichajes named the Reds as one of three Premier League clubs with designs on hijacking the champions’ pursuit of Josko Gvardiol, who’s estimated to cost around €100m (£86m), by submitting offers for him.
The Bundesliga club are understood to want any deal for the Croatian done before they begin their campaign with the German Super Cup against Bayern Munich on 12 August, by which stage they aim to have Marco Rose’s squad finalised (The Mirror).
Gvardiol had been identified as a possible transfer target for Liverpool earlier this summer (Daily Express), although Fabrizio Romano had ruled out an Anfield swoop for the Leipzig defender as he’d be ‘way too expensive’ for the Reds.
An £86m swoop indeed seems hard to envisage, particularly when we’ve already spent the bones of £100m this summer, with another £40m-£50m potentially going on Romeo Lavia.
It isn’t hard to see why LFC may be interested in a late swoop for the Croatia international, who’s one of the leading exponents of his position in Europe, especially in possession of the ball.
As per FBref, he ranks among the top 1% of centre-backs in the continent’s five main leagues for pass completion (87.18%) and the top 4% for successful take-ons (0.63 per game), and he’d also give Liverpool the left-footed option they’re lacking in that part of the squad.
Gvardiol notably called the Reds his ‘dream club’ in a previous interview with RTL Danas (via Daily Mail), but it still seems more improbable than probable that the Anfield hierarchy will steal in and sign him under Man City’s noses, even if an opportunity to do so appears to be opening up.