‘It's really nice to see’ - RB Leipzig's Gvardiol addresses Chelsea transfer rumours after starring for Croatia against Belgium at World Cup
- Defender currently on World Cup duty
- Has helped Croatia into the last 16
- Questions asked of future at club level
WHAT HAPPENED? The highly-rated Croatia international defender is said to have been on the transfer radar at Stamford Bridge for some time, with his potential and versatility having been noted while turning out for Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig. More impressive performances on the grandest of stages in Qatar have helped to enhance the 20-year-old’s reputation, leading to more speculation regarding his future, and the youngster is happy to be attracting admiring glances while keeping his own focus locked on the present.
WHAT THEY SAID: Gvardiol has told The Athletic when asked about supposed interest from England: “About me and Chelsea? I don’t know. You know what happened in the last few months. To be honest, I have no idea. My agent is taking care of this and we will see. Right now, I’m happy in Leipzig. I don’t know, we will see – you never know. You know the stories and these things, but all I can say is that I’m happy in Leipzig and right now I’m going to stay there and perform for them.”
The highly-rated youngster went on to say of Chelsea – a club that fellow countryman Mateo Kovacic is already part of: “It’s a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there. It’s really nice to see things like this, especially because there is Kovacic, so you never know. I talk with him. Even to be here on this, the biggest event, it’s a big thing for me at 20 years old so I’m happy. I have to think about it.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gvardiol’s ability to operate as a centre-half or at left-back makes him of obvious appeal to suitors across Europe, although it appears as though his long-term future will lie at the heart of any given defence.
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WHAT NEXT? Croatia are through to the last 16 of Qatar 2022, where they will face Japan on Monday, with the likelihood being that Gvardiol’s stock, and price tag, will continue to rise as he positions himself in the biggest of shop windows.