Chelsea 'revive their interest in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol' and will 'have to act this summer' to avoid paying a £97m release clause which kicks in for the Croatian international next year
- Chelsea came close to a move for Josko Gvardiol in the last summer window
- Gvardiol has openly spoke of his desire to make the move to Stamford Bridge
- The RB Leipzig defender has a £97m release clause which will kick in next year
Chelsea have reportedly revived their interest in signing highly-rated centre-back Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
The Croatian international has been the subject of interest from the Blues since 2017, and came close to a move to Stamford Bridge last summer when the two clubs were in advanced talks.
As reported by The Times, Chelsea will have to act this summer to avoid paying a £97m release clause for the player, one of the most highly sought-after youngsters in Europe.
Gvardiol signed a contract extension until 2027 back in December and it is believed that his release clause will come into effect from 2024.
Chelsea could face competition for Gvardiol's signature however, with the likes of Manchester United and Man City also linked with the 21-year-old.
Chelsea are set to revive their interest in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol this summer
Chelsea will have to act this summer to avoid paying a £97m release clause for the 21-year-old
Todd Boehly led talks last summer when a fee of about £70m was discussed, though the price tag was said to be considered as too high during that transfer window.
They had already agreed to buy Wesley Fofana from Leicester for £69.5m and Kalidou Koulibaly for £33m from Napoli.
Benoit Badiashile has since joined for £32m from Monaco, while Thiago Silva signed a new contract extension which will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2024.
As previously reported, Gvardiol dropped a big hint about a potential future move to Chelsea in an interview with The Times last month.
He said: 'My agent called me and said that Chelsea is extremely interested and, of course, you definitely think about a serious offer from a huge club like Chelsea. Leipzig said they didn't want to sell me.'
'In the end I really struggled with that decision but we didn't make an agreement. It is what it is.'
His comments surrounding Chelsea-bound Christopher Nkunku added further fuel to the fire that he is looking to make the move to Stamford Bridge.
Speaking about his RB Leipzig team-mate, he said: 'I have never seen before a player like Christoph, he is unbelievable. Every time I talk with someone about him I always say wherever he goes I want to go with him.'
Chelsea had attempted to sign Gvardiol last summer but ended up going for other defenders
Gvardiol scored for RB Leipzig during their 1-1 draw with Man City in the Champions League
Chelsea might have a fight on their hands to secure Gvardiol should they make their move, with RB Leipzig determined to keep him going into next season.
'Josko Gvardiol will be an RB Leipzig player next season as well,' RB Leipzig manager Marco Rose said.
'I am the coach and I am asking for that. He is happy here. He said he wants to play in the Premier League but he didn’t say when.'
Chelsea fans will have been pleased with what they saw from Gvardiol last week, as he scored for RB Leipzig in their 1-1 draw with Man City in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
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