If Chelsea and Manchester United thought their attempts to sign Josko Gvardiol would be easy, their hopes of landing the Croatian footballer have taken a massive dent due to the statements by RB Leipzig execs and their coach, Marco Rose.
The player, who could break the transfer record for the most expensive center back in history, will have to stay put with the German side, as coach Rose and the team's sporting director have denied any intention to watch him leave the club anytime soon, despite his desire to join a top contender in the near future.
"As a coach, I want to work with the best players because we are under a project. Josko is our player and he will remain with us," Rose stated in a recent interview.
These words were backed by sporting director Max Eberl, who denied any intention from the club to cash in on his transfer.
"We want to win titles, and to do that we need good players. There's no way to look at it, he is going to stay here," Eberl added.
Gvardiol was quite the sensation during Croatia's run in the 2022 World Cup. He caught the eye of fans across the globe with his timely interventions to guard Croatia's net, although he will also be remembered by how Lionel Messi dribbled past him in the semi-final between La Albiceleste and the Vatreni.
Gvardiol is under contract with the German side until 2027, with a buyout clause in his deal that can be executed in 2024. This clause will force any bidder for his services to pay RB Leipzig no less than €112M, which would make him the most expensive defender in the world. Unfortunately for those Premier League sides hoping to sign him, they will have to wait at least one more year to negotiate that deal.