RB Leipzig defender and Chelsea target Josko Gvardiol was recommended to Manchester United as a “must-buy” by former manager Ralf Rangnick, according to Samuel Luckhurst of Manchester Evening News.
The Austria manager included the defender in his list of recommendations for the club to sign while he was serving as interim manager at Old Trafford. The list also included Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer and Christopher Nkunku, as well as Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez who have both since signed for rivals Manchester City.
Chelsea Target Recommended to Manchester United as ”Must-Buy” by Former Manager
Rangnick recommended specific targets to #mufc in defence, midfield and up front and the club almost certainly won't be signing any of them https://t.co/Pa3LDPdI4w
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 9, 2022
Manchester United Look Elsewhere
Following a season where the 13-time Premier League champions finished 6th in the Premier League and conceded 57 goals, it was apparent that the squad needed some help in the heart of the defence.
Despite the strong recommendation from Rangnick, United seem to have not shown much interest in the 20-year-old Croatia international, instead choosing to sign Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez to sure up their defence. Martinez played for current Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax last season and therefore should be familiar with the system.
Highly Coveted Young Star
Despite no interest from United, Gvardiol has been a much talked about player this summer. Chelsea continue to be linked to the Leipzig defender, however, the Bundesliga outfit are keen on keeping their coveted centre-back as part of their squad.
The central defender, who can also play at left-back, made 29 appearances in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig during the 2021/22 season and has drawn the attention of some of the top clubs in Europe. It’s easy to see why too as Gvardiol ranks exceptionally when looking at his stats alongside fellow centre-backs in the top five leagues in Europe.
Among his peers, Gvardiol ranks in the 97th percentile for interceptions and the 84th percentile for defensive pressures. However, where he really shines is with his ability to progress the ball up the field, an ability often heralded in the modern game. In this area, Gvardiol ranks very highly, as he is in the 97th percentile for progressive passes and the 95th percentile for progressive carries among centre-backs.
A move may not yet materialise for the highly coveted youngster, however, it looks like several of Europe’s top clubs are keeping close tabs on his development and it may not be too long before Gvardiol is on the move.
🚨 Chelsea and Manchester City are interested in signing Joško Gvardiol but RB Leipzig doesn't want to sell the defender.
(Source: @cfbayern) pic.twitter.com/9KKDCs54yR
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 3, 2022