Chelsea 'lead Josko Gvardiol transfer race and could land Croatia star in January as Real Madrid only want summer deal' | The Sun

CHELSEA are leading the race to sign RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol, according to reports.

The defender's stock couldn't be any higher after his brilliant performances throughout Croatia's recent run to the World Cup semi-finals.

The Blues already held an interest in the youngster prior to the tournament, but are not the only team in the mix.

Real Madrid are also keen on recruiting Gvardiol, 20, but Chelsea are currently seen as a more likely suitor.

Speaking to soccernews.nl, transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio revealed that the West Londoners' willingness to do a deal quickly makes them a more likely destination.

He said: "I know that Chelsea and Real Madrid are the two clubs that are showing the most interest at this moment.

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"They already made offers.

"His price is going to be higher after this World Cup and probably Chelsea has the best possibility to do this deal in January, whereas Madrid prefers to do it during the summer.

"I know that the most important clubs in Europe are fighting for Gvardiol."

Recent reports in France suggest that Manchester City are also keen on Gvardiol.

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They claim that boss Pep Guardiola has already talked to the star centre-back.

It's also reported that City could make a bid worth £94.7m, with a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

Gvardiol played in every minute of Croatia's amazing run to the World Cup semi-finals.

He remains in Qatar, with his side set to face Morocco in Saturday's third-place play-off.

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