Chelsea are hopeful of a deal to sign the key defensive target.

Chelsea are hopeful they will be able to strike a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Josep Guardiola in 2023, sources have confirmed to 90 Minutes.

The 20-year-old centre-back was a target at the end of the summer transfer window for Todd Bohly but Guardiol has signed a one-year contract extension which is understood to include a release clause of around £45m, which will be activated at that time. will The end of the current season.

Since his extension, Chelsea have been in touch with Leipzig over a double deal for both Guardiola and team-mate Christopher Nkuko, the latter of whom is believed to have moved to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. was confirmed.

Now, talks with Leipzig are focused on Gvardiol and sources have confirmed to 90 Minutes that Chelsea believe they are close to agreeing another deal for the Bundesliga side.

As with Nkunku, Chelsea have indicated a willingness to pay Gvardiol’s release clause, allowing them to spread the payment over several years rather than triggering the clause and being forced to pay the full amount up front. become

The two clubs have forged a strong relationship, with Bohli known to be a big fan of Red Bull’s approach to football – a global operation driven by data analysis – and Chelsea believe that this is something both Guardiol and can work in their favor in signing efforts. Don’t

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As with the French forward, Chelsea are hoping to announce the signing of Guardiola in January – even if the player stays with Leipzig until the end of the season – but are reluctant to agree to a sale so early in the campaign to the Bundesliga side. Is.

There has been significant interest in Gvardiol from across Europe, with a number of elite sides considering a move, and Leipzig have not ruled out waiting until the summer to agree a sale.

However, Chelsea believe their willingness to waive Guardiol’s release clause, on top of their positive relationship with Leipzig’s hierarchy, will ensure they win the race to sign the Croatia international. .

Elsewhere, Chelsea are also interested in a deal to sign Inter’s Milan Skriniar, who has yet to extend his contract with the Serie A side and could leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The midfielder has attracted interest from the Premier League as well as mainland Europe, where Paris Saint-Germain have been trying to finalize his signature since the summer.

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