Arsenal could enter the race for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, should William Saliba leave the club, according to the French news outlet Media Foot.
Tottenham Hotspur have been heavily linked with a move for the Croatian international, who is said to have been one of the north Londoners’ top defensive targets this summer (GiveMeSport). However, they may find themselves up against their bitter rivals.
Mikel Arteta’s side have taken this stance amid doubts over WSaliba’s future, who has been linked with a permanent move to Marseille after spending last season on loan with the Ligue 1 outfit.
It is claimed that Saliba would cost around €30million (£25.4million) and meeting the valuation could pave the way for his exit causing Arsenal to target Gvardiol in the process.
However, that is not the only issue that Spurs would need to contend with since Manchester City are also said to be plotting to sign Gvardiol to bolster their ranks. Chelsea are another problem that pose threat to Antonio Conte’s team with Thomas Tuchel known to be a keen admirer of the Croatian ace’s qualities (Florian Plettenberg, Sky Sports).
Gvardiol can be deemed a perfect addition to the left-sided central defensive role in our ranks. Fabio Paratici and co have brought in Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet on a season-long loan deal (Sky Sports), as Ben Davies was used as a makeshift left centre-back in a three-at-the-back formation last time around.
While the lack of depth is solved, for the time being, it would always be best to have someone dependable, unlike Lenglet, who had a difficult time at Camp Nou in recent years. Gvardiol is naturally suited to be played in that role as he is known for his aggressiveness while also being active in the build-up from the back.
Gvardiol’s tendency to push forward to midfield and even in the attack would certainly suit how Conte wants his wide centre-backs to play. Hence losing out on the 20-year-old would be a damning blow for us indeed when many teams are vying to get a hold of him.
Fortunately for Spurs, Saliba intends to remain at Emirates (Metro), which certainly favours us in the end. Man City can also be ruled out as Nathan Ake is no longer in line to switch to Stamford Bridge (The Athletic). The Blues, meanwhile, are linked to Presnel Kimpembe and Jules Kounde (Football.London), with Kalidou Koulibaly having joined them recently (Chelsea official).
That leaves us in a good spot at the moment, although Leipzig are not willing to sell Gvardiol this summer (Fabrizio Romano). Hence, we may be forced to wait for now, but perhaps a move could be on the cards next summer when Lenglet would eventually return to Spain after his loan spell.