Liverpool already know £98m Josko Gvardiol would love to join them

Klopp believes 'tie is over' after Liverpool lose to Real Madrid

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Liverpool are already aware that centre-back Josko Gvardiol would love to join Jurgen Klopp’s team as the player himself has admitted it in the past. Gvardiol is one of the most sought-after defenders in the world at the tender age of 21 after impressing for RB Leipzig in the Champions League and starring for Croatia at last year’s World Cup.

Liverpool have endured a nightmare campaign under Klopp this time around and have fallen to eighth in the Premier League table after winning just 10 of their 22 matches. The Reds also look set to exit the Champions League next month after being thumped 5-2 by Real Madrid in the first leg of their last 16 showdown at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Klopp is in desperate need of world-class talent and has been linked with Gvardiol, who came through the Dinamo Zagreb academy before moving to Germany in 2021. According to Sky Sports, Gvardiol has a £98million buyout clause in his Leipzig contract. But it doesn’t become active until next summer – and a whole host of clubs could try to get their hands on him for much more than that figure this summer.

Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been tipped to prise Gvardiol away from Germany at the end of the season. But the Merseysiders could be the frontrunners to land the ace if his past comments are anything to go by.

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“Since I was a little boy, my dad and I watched Liverpool matches, and I grew up with only them,” Gvardiol previously told Croatian news outlet 24Sata. “When I took football more seriously, I started following them – and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool.”

According to former Dinamo Zagreb manager Damir Krznar, who mentored Gvardiol during his time in charge of the Croatian club’s academy, before making the player a key part of the first-team defence, “he will touch the stars” and “he will be elite”.


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And Krznar added: “He’s a big guy, a tough guy and in a duel he doesn’t have a problem. He has very good speed, speed of reaction – everything. But this is what makes him different, he always searches first to pass forward. A ball to make the progression to the ‘one line’, to the ‘two line’, to the ‘three line’. And this is a characteristic of midfielders. This is [the type of] central defenders we will search for in the future. I think Josko is one of those modern central defenders.”

Gvardiol featured in every second of Croatia’s World Cup campaign in Qatar last year as his country reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by eventual champions Argentina. And on Tuesday night, the star was in club action against Pep Guardiola’s Citizens as RB Leipzig hosted the Premier League giants in the Champions League, scoring the equaliser for the Germans.

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