London: Premier League and European champions Manchester City on Saturday completed the signing of Croatia centre-back Josko Gvardiol on a five-year deal from RB Leipzig.
No financial details were revealed but Pep Guardiola’s side are understood to have agreed a fee of 90 million euros ($99 million) for the Croatia international.
Gvardiol, 21, has impressed in his two seasons at Leipzig which he joined from Dynamo Zagreb in July 2021.
“I have always dreamed of one day playing in England and to be doing so now with Manchester City – after the season they have just had – is a real honour for me,” said Gvardiol of joining a team which won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League last year.
“Anyone who saw Manchester City play last season knows they are the best team in the world. To win the Treble says everything you need to know about the quality this team has.”
Gvardiol becomes Man City’s second signing ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, following fellow Croatian international Mateo Kovacic.
“To be joining City is something very special for me and my family,” continued Gvardiol.
“To have the chance to work with Pep Guardiola, too, will be amazing for me.
“I know I am not yet the finished article and I am sure my game will progress under the best coach in football.
“To be linking up with Mateo Kovacic will also be special. He’s a top footballer and I hope we can both help City achieve another successful season in 2023/24 and then beyond.”
Capped 21 times for Croatia, Gvardiol made 87 appearances across two seasons for Leipzig winning back-to-back German Cups.
He won two league titles with Zagreb before moving to the Bundesliga.
City will now have six senior central defenders, but Guardiola has insisted that was not a problem given the gruelling nature of the season.
“The season is so long, there is many, many games. It is absolutely not too many,” Guardiola told journalists ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield against Arsenal at Wembley.
“We are very happy to bring Josko to Manchester City,” said City director of football Txiki Begiristain.
“He is a player we have watched closely, and we feel he has a superb set of attributes.
“Top clubs all over Europe have been monitoring him, so to bring him here is great news for us.
“Josko has so many qualities – everything you want in a centre-half. He is fast, competitive, combative, strong in the air, impressive in possession of the ball, with strong self-belief and a good character. He is left-footed, too, which offers us good options at the back.
“He is still young but his progress in the game has been rapid. We feel confident his upward trajectory will continue here at City working with Pep and his staff.”