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Chelsea opt out of Gvardiol bid as Man City battle looms for defender

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helsea have decided against making an offer for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol but will continue to monitor the Croatia international should his club one day decide to cash in.

The Blues prioritised the £70million signing of Leicester’s Wesley Fofana and are now generally happy with their central defensive outlook in the short-term.

It is thought that they could return for the 20-year-old Gvardiol in future transfer windows and this could come as early as January, with a replacement for Thiago Silva potentially needed next summer.

Gvardiol has been scouted by Chelsea since his youth days at Dinamo in Croatia, where he excelled before quickly moving to the Bundesliga to further his career.

Manchester City are also thought to be huge admirers of Gvardiol and are likewise keen to compete for his signature should Leipzig decide to sell.

The German club are currently very reluctant to let their prized asset leave and have already warned teams off bidding in upcoming transfer windows.

Speaking to Bild yesterday, Lepzig’s chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff said: “Josko still has a contract with us until 2026. We assume that he will not only play with us this season but also next season.”

They believe that Gvardiol’s remaining four-year contract, which was only recently signed, gives them breathing room to resist the world’s biggest and richest clubs.

Leipzig aim to keep Gvardiol for several years in the hope his value will only increase, to one day potentially achieve a world record fee for a defender.

However, the player’s camp are keen to push for a move sooner – creating a point of tension between the two parties.

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