Soccer

Manchester City complete £77.6million signing of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig

Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup (Nick Potts/PA)
Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup (Nick Potts/PA) Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup (Nick Potts/PA)

Manchester City have finalised the signing of Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig on a five-year deal.

The 21-year-old completed his medical with City on Friday afternoon after the Premier League champions agreed a fee of 90million euros (£77.6m) with Leipzig.

City announced on their official website: “Manchester City are delighted to confirm the signing of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig on a five-year deal.

“The 21-year-old becomes the second signing of the summer transfer window ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, following in the footsteps of fellow Croatian international Mateo Kovacic.”

Gvardiol has spent the last two seasons at Leipzig, making 87 appearances in all competitions, and was key to Croatia’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar at the end of last year.

He said: “I have always dreamed of one day playing in England and to be doing so now with Manchester City – after the season they have just had – is a real honour for me.

“Anyone who saw Manchester City play last season knows they are the best team in the world. To win the treble says everything you need to know about the quality this team has.

“To be joining City is something very special for me and my family. To have the chance to work with Pep Guardiola, too, will be amazing. I know I am not yet the finished article and I am sure my game will progress under the best coach in football.”

Gvardiol will add competition on the left side of City’s defence, having helped Croatia reach the last four at the World Cup and then the final of the Nations League, where they were beaten by Spain.

He started out at Dinamo Zagreb, making his senior debut for his hometown club aged 17 in 2019, and, after turning down an approach from Leeds, joined RB Leipzig for £13.8million in the summer of 2021.

Gvardiol returned on loan to Zagreb for the remainder of the 2020-21 season and helped them win the domestic double.

Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup
Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup Gvardiol, left, was an ever present for Croatia as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup (Nick Potts/PA)

In his first season at the Red Bull Arena, Leipzig won the their first major trophy – the DFB-Pokal – and qualified for the Champions League after finishing runners-up to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Gvardiol made 59 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig, who also reached the semi-finals of the 2022 Europa League and ensured a second season in the Champions League last season.

After making his first senior international start for Croatia in their opening group defeat to England at Euro 2020, Gvardiol played every minute for Zlatko Dalic’s side as they finished third at the 2022 World Cup.