'I really struggled with that decision' - Josko Gvardiol opens up on failed move to Chelsea after Leipzig refused to sell
- Gvardiol disappointed he couldn't join Chelsea
- Blues showed late interest in last window
- Leipzig refused to sell prized asset
WHAT HAPPENED? The Croatia international has confirmed that Chelsea wanted to bring him in during the January window, but Leipzig refused to let him leave mid-season. While Gvardiol accepted the club's decision, he has admitted to feeling frustrated over the failed transfer after letting himself believe that a deal could have been done with the Blues.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to The Times, Gvardiol said: "I was really confused because one month before the window starts I was upstairs with the sporting director and he says, ‘Yeah Josko, we are not going to sell you, we need you, we believe in you,’ and I was like ok I am fine with this, I can stay here, I like it here, all I need is to work on myself, to play, to win something else.
"It was like this until the last two days. 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. I am here and I am fine with this because my idea had been to stay here. One season was not enough. This is my second season, even one more season would be great but we will see."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gvardiol has expressed his wishto play in the Premier League in the past, but he is still under contract at Leipzig until 2027, and he may have missed his chance to join Chelsea. Benoit Badiashille's move to Stamford Bridge from Monaco in January has left Graham Potter well-stocked in defensive positions and it remains to be seen whether Gvardiol will come back on the Blues' radar.
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WHAT NEXT FOR JOSKO GVARDIOL? The 21-year-old will be back in action on Wednesday when Leipzig face Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash.