Manchester City are close to completing the signing of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
The 22-year-old Croatia international is undergoing a medical and is expected to join the Premier League champions for a fee of £77m.
Guardiola also discussed the uncertain futures of Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva, who have both been linked with moves away from the Etihad Stadium this summer.
“We will do everything to keep them,” Guardiola said. “It is not like [Ilkay] Gundogan as they have contracts.
“We want them to stay because they want to stay. Losing Kyle and Bernardo would be so difficult.”
So far this summer City have already lost former captain Gundogan, who joined Barcelona after his contract at the Etihad expired, and forward Riyad Mahrez, who was purchased by Al-Ahli as part of the Saudi Pro league’s significant recruitment drive.
Guardiola says his priority is to work with players who want to continue at City, and also claimed the club has to pay an additional ‘tax’ to bring in new additions because of their status.
“I want to work with guys who want to stay. [If they don’t], we have to get a proper offer [for them],” Guardiola said.
“If we don’t get a proper offer, he’s [Silva] our player and we want him. If they [Barcelona] want him, they will take a plane and come here and talk to our sporting director and CEO to make an agreement. For us to buy a player, just because we are Man City it is £10-15m more expensive than other clubs all the time. If people want our really really important players, first they have to make an offer – and that hasn’t happened.
“When it happens, we will fight to extend the contract and [have them] be with us. That has happened with all of our players since day one.”
Silva is understood to be conflicted about his future.
He recognises the achievements he has had at City, and their chances of further success in the future.
But he is unsure whether it is time for another challenge, and a move to a climate more in keeping with his Portuguese roots.
Playing for Barcelona is a long-held dream for Silva, although he also understands the club’s financial problems mean they may not be able to put a deal together that would suit City.