Chelsea Handed £70m January Transfer Boost To Solve Thiago Silva Problem For Graham Potter
It was only during the final hours of the transfer window that Chelsea admitted defeat.
Discussions had been held, tentative proposals were put forward, and yet there was no indication RB Leipzig were prepared to lose another of their standout talents to the Premier League.
The Blues had pushed hard in their pursuit of Josko Gvardiol, viewed as a potential long-term successor to Thiago Silva, whose contract expires in the summer.
Still, Leipzig stood firm on their wish to keep the 20-year-old.
It felt pointed that on transfer deadline day, as Chelsea scrambled to complete two signings, the Bundesliga side announced the Croatia international had agreed a new contract.
“I am very grateful to the club’s executives for including me in their long-term plans and want to continue their path with me on board,” Gvardiol said.
“I am very happy to have signed an early contract extension through 2027 because there is a lot more that I want to achieve with RB Leipzig.”
Will Gvardiol see out that contract? It’s hugely unlikely. Chelsea will be back for the central defender; their interest has been parked rather than abandoned. Manchester City understood to be tracking Gvardiol ahead of a future approach.
It’s one that developed during negotiations for Timo Werner in 2020 and was then built upon by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali as Werner returned to the German side in the summer after two rather mixed campaigns in English football.
It’s cold, hard cash that gets transfers done and if Chelsea return for Gvardiol in January, they are going to have to pay a significant fee for the centre-back.
Leipzig’s asking price was understood to be in excess of £70million in the summer and that isn’t expected to be reduced. Whether Gvardiol would be open to a mid-season switch is a matter of debate.
Hr, he said: “I’m happy at Leipzig, I still have a lot to learn and need to work on myself. I have people who deal with it, I didn’t think about a transfer. We’ll see what happens in the winter.”
It became clear during the summer that Boehly and Eghbali are intent on bringing the brightest prospects in the European game to Stamford Bridge.
Graham Potter is viewed as key to fulfilling it and Chelsea are keen to bring in a sporting director prior to the World Cup to help plan and prepare for January and more importantly, next summer’s transfer window.