Chelsea are aware of rival interest in RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, 90min understands, but the Blues are confident they can win the race for his signature.
Talks were opened between the two clubs during the summer and Chelsea’s interest in the Croatia centre-back, who was one of the standout players at the World Cup, has not subsided.
The Blues are looking to wrap up a deal for Gvardiol as soon as possible, as they have done with his Leipzig teammate Christopher Nkunku, who has already put pen to paper on a transfer to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
With the Nkunku talks now closed, Chelsea’s focus is largely on trying to secure Gvardiol’s signature – co-owner Todd Boehly is also exploring his options in attack – but sources have confirmed to 90min that they are not the only team in contact with Leipzig.
Real Madrid and Manchester City have both spoken with Leipzig, while Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have all expressed an interest in the 20-year-old, but it is understood that Chelsea’s negotiations are more advanced than any others.
Chelsea have indicated a willingness to seal a transfer in January, while the majority of the other suitors would prefer to wait until the summer, and the Blues believe this could benefit them in their negotiations.
The idea of Gvardiol moving to Chelsea in January has been discussed but, like with Nkunku, a move at the end of the season is far more likely and Boehly is prepared to agree to those terms if it means winning the race.
Gvardiol is understood to be appreciative of Chelsea’s determination to sign him, and he has also publicly left the door open to a switch to Stamford Bridge in the future.
Chelsea’s dream plan is to announce the double signing of both Nkunku and Gvardiol in the January transfer window and, with the former’s signature already secured, there is an optimism in west London that they will be successful.