Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel views RB Leipzig defender as potential replacement for Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea are reportedly interested in RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol. The Croatian has been in fine form for the Bundesliga giants this season and has caught the attention of Blues boss Thomas Tuchel thanks to his consistent performances.
According to Florian Plettenberg, Tuchel is believed to be a huge fan of Gvardiol and views him as a replacement for Antonio Rudiger. The former Borussia Dortmund coach recently revealed that the German defender will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after the expiration of his contract.
The 29-year-old has been in incredible form for the Blues since Tuchel took over the reins at the club in January 2021. He helped the west London club win the Champions League last season and the Fifa Club World Cup this season. Rudiger has made over 190 appearances for Chelsea during his five seasons with the club.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Spanish giants Real Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with the defender over a summer move to the Bernabeu. Chelsea are likely to target the signing of a top-quality defender to replace the German.
Josko Gvardiol has been one of the standout players for RB Leipzig this season. The 20-year-old has made 42 appearances and scored two goals for the club in all competitions. His performances have helped propel the German club to fourth place in the Bundesliga table, one point behind third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Gvardiol’s ability to play as a centre-back and a left-back makes him the ideal transfer target for Chelsea. The Croatian does not have a release clause in his contract with Leipzig.
He is believed to be happy at the Red Bull Arena, but could be enticed into a move to one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League this summer. However, Chelsea are yet to begin negotiations with the player’s representatives.
Chelsea are likely to attempt to sign a world-class defender to replace Antonio Rudiger
Levante UD v Sevilla FC – La Liga Santander
Despite Josko Gvardiola’s impressive displays this season, the 20-year-old lacks experience and could take time to adjust to the demands of playing for a club like Chelsea.
The Blues could therefore drop their interest in the RB Leipzig star and focus their efforts on attempting to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. The Premier League giants were heavily linked with a move for the French defender last season, but the deal failed to materialize. According to Football.london, Tuchel’s side will resume their pursuit of the 23-year-old this summer.
Jules Kounde joined Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019. He helped the La Liga giants win the Europa League in his debut season with the club. His impressive displaysfor the club during the 2020-21 campaign earned him a place in Didier Deschamps’ France team for Euro 2020. The defender helped his national side win the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League.
The 23-year-old’s consistent performances have helped Sevilla climb up to third place in the La Liga table, level on points with second-placed Barcelona. His versatility, speed, and physical stature could make him the ideal replacement for Antonio Rudiger at Stamford Bridge.