Exclusive: Good news for Liverpool’s pursuit of £98m star who almost agreed Chelsea transfer

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Liverpool are tracking RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol ahead of a potential transfer move this summer, and Ben Jacobs has a positive update in his exclusive weekly column for CaughtOffside.

The Croatia international has shone in the Bundesliga and also had a great World Cup, finishing with a third-place medal, and Jacobs has explained his situation ahead of the summer.

Liverpool could do with making plenty of changes to their squad after this difficult season, and Jacobs has named Gvardiol as someone on their list, though his £98million release clause won’t become active until 2024.

Chelsea almost agreed a deal for Gvardiol in the past and would probably still do well to bring him in as a long-term successor to the ageing Thiago Silva, but the good news for Liverpool is that reports of the 21-year-old saying yes to Real Madrid are untrue, with the player keen to play in the Premier League.

Josko Gvardiol to Liverpool?

“Liverpool are tracking Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol, who Chelsea almost pre-agreed a deal for last summer,” Jacobs said.

“The Croatian scored against Manchester City in the Champions League and is attracting plenty of interest, including from Pep Guardiola’s side as well as Real Madrid and PSG. There is a £98m buyout clause, but it doesn’t become active until summer 2024.

“I am told Gvardiol wants a Premier League move and the notion he’s ‘picked’ Real is incorrect. He’s also on record as saying Liverpool are his “dream club” because he watched many of their games with his dad when younger.”

In general, Jacobs says FSG are ready to back Jurgen Klopp to make the changes he needs this summer, with Jude Bellingham and Matheus Nunes also some of the big names in the club’s sights.

He added: “How aggressive Liverpool can be in the market will depend on whether they qualify for Champions League football and the volume of outgoings.

“But FSG are prepared to back Klopp. Their commitment to the club remains as strong as ever with John Henry confirming he’s looking for investment but not an outright sale.”

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