The Croatian center-back could become the most expensive defender in history were he to move this summer.

Josko Gvardiol is arguably the most wanted center-back in world football. The RB Leipzig ace, who is gearing up for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League showdown with Manchester City, is being targetted by Europe's elites following his meteoric rise in the Bundesliga and his outstanding 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign.

Manchester City, who will need to overcome the towering Croatian center-back, are heavily interested in the 21-year-old due to the doubts surrounding Aymeric Laporte's future. However, the reigning Premier League champions aren't the only ones interested in the former Dinamo Zagreb ace.

Chelsea and Liverpool are two other English clubs keen on securing his services while Real Madrid are said to be in the mix. In fact, the Blues went as far as bidding for Gvardiol last summer, offering £77.4M ($94.2M in today's market) for the Bundesliga sensation, but their bid was deemed too low for a player of his quality.

However, since returning from Qatar 2022, Josko has publicly hinted at wanting a move. The question on everyone's mind is how much would be enough to convince Die Roten Bullen to sanction a sale.

While there is a £97M ($118M) release clause in his contract, that does not come into effect until 2024. As a result, interested parties would have to negotiate a deal this summer.

According to the Daily Mail, RB Leipzig have named their price and it is a whopping £115M (€130M/$139M). This means that anyone who wants Gvardiol will have to make him the world's most expensive defender in history.

It should be noted that the German club prefers to keep ahold of their player but Josko's desire to leave this summer could force their hand.

Tottenham were closely following the Croatian but a move to North London is out of the question now. Additionally, Manchester United, who look to move on both Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire this summer, might enter the race — though the potential takeover at Old Trafford has left the club in a tricky situation.

As mentioned earlier, Gvardiol will come face to face with Guardiola's men in the 2nd leg of their round of 16 matchup. The center-back impressed in the first leg and even got on the scoresheet, which will only add to Pep's admiration for him.