Manchester United are doing bits this season.
The 20-time-PL-champions have adapted quickly to life under new manager Erik ten Hag and are actively in the hunt for four trophies, hoping to end more than a half-decade spell without any silverware to show for it.
The Red Devils had a frantic end to an otherwise quiet transfer window, with Marcel Sabitzer joining on loan from Bayern Munich on deadline day, to add to further loan deals for Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland, which were concluded earlier.
The Glazers were unwilling to loosen the purse strings in January, with a summer sale in mind, but a new ownership promises a new beginning, and United are actively working on a number of deals to enhance Ten Hag’s squad ahead of next season.
One such player who has often found himself linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months is Croatian boy-wonder, Josko Gvardiol.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation since joining RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2021, establishing himself as one of the outstanding centre-backs in Europe.
‘Little Pep’ also played a protagonist’s role for his country in Qatar, helping the Vatreni finish third at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Gvardiol put pen to paper on a new contract with Die Roten Bullen until 2027 in September, and with so many years left on his current deal, Leipzig are well within their rights to demand a hefty fee for his services.
His alleged price tag of €100 million has already blown Serie A clubs such as Juventus and Inter Milan out of the water, and there is a real possibility that only clubs in Spain or England will be able to afford the king’s ransom required to sign the Croatian International.
However, according to Calciomercato, Gvardiol has already made his decision.
Real Madrid have apparently sounded out the highly rated defender as a marquee signing for the summer, as Carlo Ancelloti strives to further strengthen los Merengues’ back-line.
The record 14-time European Cup champions are not willing to give in to Leipzig’s outrageous demands, but negotiations are expected, with Florentino Perez apparently keen on Gvardiol’s services.
Chelsea were also linked with a move for the Balkan centre-back in January, but a deal could not be arranged, and the West Londoners settled for Benoit Badiashile from AS Monaco.
Manchester United already have an elite LCB in their ranks in Lisandro Martinez, and it is unlikely that they would feel the need to upgrade on the services of the Argentinian World Cup winner, while the likes of Liverpool and Totttenham Hotspur are unlikely to shelve out the funds required to obtain the services of Gvaridol this summer.
It seems highly likely that the path ahead for Gvaridiol lies in Spain at this present moment, but stranger things have happened.