Spurs join race for Croatia World Cup star Josko Gvardiol

Highly rated RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol has another fan in Antonio Conte, as Spurs join the list of clubs looking to sign him.

Still only 20 years old, Gvardiol has emerged as one of the best young defenders in football. His performances at the heart of Croatia’s defence in Qatar have only added to the hype around him, too.

Now, Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport are reporting that Spurs will look to sign Josko Gvardiol.

A dynamic and strong defender, Gvardiol is comfortable playing in either a back four or three. For instance, he has played in both setups at Leipzig so far this season. Croatia are also using a back four at the World Cup.

Last season, Leipzig utilised mostly a three-back system, per Football Critic, in which Gvardiol excelled. As a result, he could settle well into Conte’s current 3-4-2-1 formation at Spurs if he moves to North London.

Unfortunately for Tottenham fans, though, there is some stiff competition for the emerging star’s signature.

Chelsea, Real Madrid battling Spurs for Josko Gvardiol

Spurs will have to fight off suitors from both back home and abroad if they want to sign the Croatian. Fellow Premier League side Chelsea had a move for Gvardiol rejected last summer, but they remain interested in him.

Even then, €60 million was not enough for Gvardiol in Leipzig’s opinion. Following his World Cup exploits, reports expect him to cost around €70-80 million.

This is because the Bundesliga side are in no rush to sell him. In September, Gvardiol signed a new deal with Leipzig that can keep him there until 2027. So, he will definitely not be cheap.

But it isn’t just Chelsea that Spurs have to worry about when chasing Josko Gvardiol. Liverpool are also snooping around, especially as Gvardiol himself admitted to following the Reds as a child.

Despite this, the main threat appears to come from Spain. Real Madrid, with all their defensive talent, are reportedly in the running, too. Gvardiol has even discussed the prospect of playing for Los Blancos recently.

Gvardiol talks about Real Madrid, Chelsea links

Speaking to Relevo, the Croatian acknowledged that he would like to play at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world,” he said, via Metro. “Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to play there. I’d like it. [Luka] Modric does not have to tell me anything, not needed – I know how special it is to be linked to Real Madrid.”

Josko Gvardiol also kept his options open when discussing rumours of joining Chelsea with The Athletic.

“About me and Chelsea? I don’t know. You know what happened in the last months. To be honest, I have no idea.

“You know the stories and these things, but all I can say is that I am happy in Leipzig. Right now, I am going to stay there and perform for them. Chelsea is a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there.”

Featured image credit: Getty