Manchester City remain “very far apart” in negotiations for defender Josko Gvardiol despite reports indicating a record-breaking deal had been reached, RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl said Friday.
Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reported exclusively Wednesday that City and Leipzig had agreed to a fee – believed to be worth a record for a defender at around €100 million – and that Gvardiol had even completed the first part of his medical. Romano tweeted an update Thursday saying “tension” had developed between the two clubs during the final stage of the negotiations but reiterated that an agreement was still in place.
“A lot has been written, and the latest information about Josko surprised us all,” Eberl said, per BBC Sport. “Currently, we’re still very far apart.”
Eberl confirmed Gvardiol had joined Leipzig’s preseason training camp in Italy and that he hadn’t yet completed a medical with City.
“And I don’t think he did it behind our backs because he’s just a full professional,” the director added. “There is no agreement, not even remotely an agreement.”
Eberl said earlier this month that City had opened talks with Leipzig over a potential €100-million deal for the 21-year-old center-back but stopped short of saying a transfer was imminent.
The fee, which equates to around £86 million, would make Gvardiol the most expensive defender in world football. Harry Maguire set the record when he completed his £80-million move to Manchester United in 2019.