RB Leipzig and Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol is set to be one of the most sought-after defenders in the upcoming summer transfer window. The 21-year-old is on the radars of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, among several other top clubs across Europe.
But a fresh report from BILD is claiming that Gvardiol, at this moment, is more attracted to Real Madrid than Manchester City. The defender was supposedly excited after learning that the Merengues had contacted his agents to express their interest in him.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Los Blancos’ representatives met with Gvardiol’s entourage in December last year, right after the FIFA World Cup 2022, to express their admiration towards the centre-half.
At the same time, however, it was suggested that Real Madrid believe that the Croatian international’s signing would be out of reach for them due to the finances involved.
Indeed, Gvardiol signed a new contract with Leipzig last year, committing himself to the club until the summer of 2027. He has a release clause worth €112 million embedded in the deal, although that will come only into force in 2024.
But, Leipzig will demand a figure in excess of €100 million if they do consider the prospect of selling their defensive ace in the upcoming summer.
That could pose a problem for Real Madrid as they are also targeting a summer move for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old midfielder will cost in the range of €100-140 million as well.
And as per the report, even though the Merengues have around €350 million to spend for the summer, they will look to splash a nine-figure transfer fee only on one player.
So, Real Madrid will have to decide between signing Gvardiol, Bellingham and even possibly Kylian Mbappe, provided he becomes available in the summer market.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.