Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United target Josko Gvardiol is a ‘fast, intelligent, dynamic’ centre-half who shares a lot in common with Premier League superstar Virgil van Dijk, the RB Leipzig star’s agent tells FC Inter News.
Those similarities with arguably the finest centre-half on planet earth are probably why Leipzig are demanding a frankly obscene sum for a 20-year-old with just one season of first-team football under his belt in a major European league.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Spurs director Fabio Paratici made Gvardiol his number one target while scouring the market for a new left-sided centre-half.
Nouveau-riche Newcastle United are planning to hold talks with the one-time Leeds United target, too, though the Croatia international could be too rich even for a club of their Croesus-esque resources (Mail).
The Athletic believe that, with four years left on his contract, Gvardiol would command a fee in the region of £60 million.
Can Tottenham or Newcastle afford to sign Josko Gvardiol?
“Josko is, first of all, a boy with a great character. Very mature and reliable; Characteristics of the person that are then poured into the athlete,” says Marjan Sisic, the former Dinamo Zagreb starlet’s agent.
“He is strong, fast, intelligent, dynamic, courageous, gifted with good technique and capable of anticipating his opponent. And one who understands the game tactically.
“I would say everything related to passing, aerial duels, speed and technical skills (are his main gifts).”
When asked to name the players Gvardiol most closely resembles, Sisic chose two of the greatest defenders to play the game this side of the century; ‘Sergio Ramos and Virgil van Dijk’.
Of course, if Gvardiol was to emulate the sort of impact Van Dijk made at Liverpool in the colours of Spurs or Newcastle, that £60 million fee would quickly look like good business.
But Leipzig’s colossal demands, plus Gvardiol’s own desire to stay put at the Red Bull Arena, means this feels like something of a non-starter.
“I really enjoy every day with this great team, at this first-class club,” he explains. “I don’t think about anything else. And if you ask me if I’ll play here next year? Yes, of course (I will stay).”