According to a report from leading Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard, the club is planning a move for exciting prospect Josko Gvardiol if a move for Prisnel Kempembe or Jules Kounde cannot be pulled off.
Strengthening in defence has been a clear motive for Thomas Tuchel’s side in this transfer window as is apparent by their high-profile targets like Kounde and Kempembe as well as Kalidou Koulibaly, who has already joined.
Chelsea line up Gvardiol as Kounde or Kimpembe alternative
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) July 20, 2022
Chelsea Eyeing Up Josko Gvardiol Move
The club’s main focus is on deals for Sevilla’s Kounde and Paris Saint-Germain’s Kimpembe, and while the deal for Kounde is reportedly progressing well, it seems less likely that the club will convince his French compatriot to leave the Ligue 1 side. Enter RB Leipzig defender Gvardiol. If a deal can’t be done for PSG’s defender then Tuchel’s focus is on the young Leipzig defender.
The Blues have been quite smart throughout this summer window and shown an ability to adapt quickly when targets are off the table. This is once again shining through as the club has three different attainable players lined up for the centre-back spot.
🤯 Josko Gvardiol made more accurate through balls in the league last season (8) than Reece James, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Malang Sarr and Cesar Azpilicueta COMBINED (7) pic.twitter.com/I1agmVP3Rd
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 20, 2022
The 20-year-old Leipzig defender has impressed in his one season playing for the club. After being picked up from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021, he became a mainstay in the squad as his team finished fourth in the Bundesliga.
The defender made 46 appearances in the campaign and impressed throughout, so much so that he’s earned a spot in the Croatian national team and holds the honour of being the youngest player ever to represent the country at a major tournament.
One issue with Chelsea’s defence coming into this window was the age of the defensive core. Gvardiol and Kounde joining would go a long way to giving the club long-term options at centre-back as Thiago Silva can’t play forever, as much as Blues fans may wish he could.