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Tottenham Hotspur aiming to hijack Chelsea move for Josko Gvardiol?

Tottenham Hotspur aiming to hijack Chelsea move for Josko Gvardiol?

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly aiming to hijack Chelsea‘s proposed switch for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

The 20-year-old has established a reputation as one of Europe’s top up-and-coming centre-backs since making the move from Dinamo Zagreb to Die Roten Bullen in 2021.

Gvardiol ended his debut season at Leipzig with a DFB-Pokal title to his name, as well as coming up with two goals and three assists in 46 appearances from the heart of the backline.

The Croatia international has remained an integral cog of the Leipzig defence in the 2022-23 campaign, making 19 appearances in all tournaments and scoring against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Gvardiol only signed a contract extension with Leipzig until 2027 back in September, but the youngster’s fresh terms are unlikely to deter potential suitors from battling for his signature.

RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol pictured on January 23, 2022© Reuters

Chelsea are regarded as the frontrunners for the defender’s signature at this moment in time, although Barcelona have also been credited with an interest despite their financial difficulties.

Now, Tuttomercatoweb claims that Tottenham are preparing to hijack any move for Gvardiol from their London rivals, with Antonio Conte believing that he holds a secret weapon.

Gvardiol shares a national team dressing room with fellow Croatian Ivan Perisic, who left Inter Milan in the summer to reunite with Conte at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The report adds that Perisic is working to convince Gvardiol to make the move to North London, but they should still face an intense battle from other clubs for his signature.

Gvardiol has a total of three goals and four assists to show from 65 games in a Leipzig shirt, and he has played every minute of Croatia’s World Cup 2022 campaign so far.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte looks dejected on November 6, 2022© Reuters

As well as Gvardiol, Tottenham are also reported to be keeping an eye on his fellow Croatian Josip Sutalo, who has been an ever-present for Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League this term.

Sutalo was also called up to Croatia’s World Cup 2022 squad, but the 22-year-old is yet to earn any minutes for the 2018 runners-up in Qatar.

Tottenham are expected to be active in the January market as they prepare to back Conte with funds, and a new ball-playing defender is likely to be high on the agenda.

The Lilywhites did add to their defensive ranks with the acquisition of Clement Lenglet on loan from Barcelona in the summer, while Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Cristian Romero, Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez are also competing for starts.

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