Manchester United retain interest in Josko Gvardiol

Manchester United are reportedly still considering whether to move for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

For a large part of 2022-23, United’s backline has impressed, helped by the summer arrival of Lisandro Martinez and return to form of the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw.

However, with head coach Erik ten Hag adopting a strategy where rotation is less of an occurrence, some senior players have had their game time heavily limited.

That applies to the likes of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, who were both linked with an Old Trafford exit in January before ultimately remaining at United.

If speculation is to be believed, though, that could change later in 2023, particularly if United wish to raise funds to make like-for-like changes in the defence.

According to Calciomercato, the Red Devils are given thought to making a formal approach for Gvardiol ahead of next season.

Although he is only in his second year at the Bundesliga outfit, the Croatia international is already one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe.

Chelsea were consistently linked with the versatile player throughout the second half of 2022, it later being suggested that the 21-year-old remained a target for the Blues for 2023.

More recently, there has been less talk of a big-money bid from the West Londoners, who made an astonishing eight new signings at the midway point of the campaign.

That could change in due course, depending on whether Chelsea earn European football for 2023-24, but United allegedly remain active in the race for his signature.

The same report states that Gvardiol’s preference is to sign for Real Madrid, despite it being unclear whether Los Blancos will be prepared to pay in excess of £70m for a new defender when other areas require strengthening.

Nevertheless, the left side of their backline has proven to be a problem part of the pitch, and Gvardiol being regarded as world class at centre-back and out wide may tempt Florentino Perez into putting forward a proposal.

Gvardiol is currently starring on the left-hand side of a back three at RB Leipzig, who sit just four points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

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