Josko Gvardiol’s agent Andy Bara has told Italian outlet CalcioMercato that his client did have an offer on the table from Leeds United, but chose to join RB Leipzig because of the German Bundesliga side’s “sporting project”.
Gvardiol, 18, was strongly linked with a move to Leeds this summer but Leipzig have always been touted as a possible destination alongside the Whites. In the end, the Croatia Under-21 star has chosen to swap Dinamo Zagreb for Leipzig.
In the meantime, Leeds have strengthened at centre-back – eventually overlooking Gvardiol and bringing in Diego Llorente and Robin Koch. On Monday, Leipzig confirmed the signing of Gvardiol, with a fee believed to be in the region of £17.25million (CM).
Asked by CM if Leeds had made an offer for Gvardiola, the teenager’s agent confirmed a bid had been made for the defender – but Bara stated that Gvardiol chose to reject Leeds and join Leipzig instead. He will join Leipzig, and return to Zagreb on loan.
“True, he had an offer from Leeds but he chose Leipzig for the sporting project. On an economic level, the offers were practically the same,” Bara responded over a touted bid from the Yorkshire club.
The 18-year-old will join the club on 1st July 2021, remaining at @gnkdinamo for the current season 🇭🇷
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) September 28, 2020
TBR’s view – Have Leeds made right decision on Gvardiol?
There is no doubting that Gvardiol is going to be a huge player in the future. Already in Croatia’s Under-21 side, he has commanded an expensive transfer fee and at a team like Leipzig under Julian Nagelsmann, he could thrive.
Leeds may have missed the opportunity to sign a potentially world-class defender. But, Leeds have a limited budget and needed to spend what they had wisely – keeping them in the Premier League, which they have chosen to do in Koch and Llorente.
Spending similar kind of fees on an 18-year-old is a risk, and then Zagreb may have even looked to bring him back on loan. Going for more experienced players and using the money for the now, is the right decision in this moment in time.