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Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona join transfer race for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol

Is Bayern Munich putting together a contingency plan for the uncertainty surrounding Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard?

Croatia v Brazil: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

In a somewhat shocking revelation from Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna, Bayern Munich is among the clubs that have joined the transfer race for RB Leipzig center-back Josko Gvardiol, who has been one of the breakthrough performers during the World Cup in Qatar for Croatia.

Chelsea FC is rumored to be the frontrunner for Gvardiol, who only recently inked a contract extension with Die Roten Bullen. Now, however, it looks like the Premier League club has competitors:

Bayern Munich is very hot. A meeting (the date of which has not been revealed) is already scheduled between the management of the Bavarian club and the player’s representative for a possible rapprochement. According to a source close to the case, Real Madrid and Barcelona, also interested, are starting from further away, especially because of the stratospheric price that RB Leipzig will ask to let go its Croatian jewel.

Liverpool and PSG have not yet shown any interest in Joško Gvardiol. The battle promises to be as intense as the one for Erling Haaland a few months ago. It must be said that for many observers, the 20-year-old Croatian international defender with 17 caps is considered the best future defender in the world. And considering his past and future performances with Croatia in this World Cup, starting with the upcoming semi-final against Argentina on Tuesday, it is not far from being the case already.

While not formally interested yet, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are expected to jump into the mix as well.

For Bayern Munich, Gvardiol could be a key acquisition. Benjamin Pavard is expected to leave the club next summer, Lucas Hernandez suffered a major knee injury and is nearing the end of his deal, and there are probably at least some reasons to think Matthijs de Ligt might not be as finished a product as many would like.

With his deal running through 2027, however, Gvardiol will have a hefty transfer associated with him for quite a while.

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