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Philipp Hinze says Liverpool are Josko Gvardiol’s ‘ideal team’

Josko Gvardiol

Liverpool have conceded 28 goals in 22 Premier League games this campaign – two more than the entirety of last season (26), so it’s little wonder Jurgen Klopp is looking to bolster his backline over the summer.

Sky Sports Germany reporter Philipp Hinze claims Liverpool are interested in signing Josko Gvardiol and believes they might be deemed an attractive destination by the 21-year-old despite the disappointing season.

He said: “The fans love him, but they know Gvardiol will not end his career at Leipzig. He’s said Liverpool is his (ideal) team. They can buy the release clause. He can be the world’s best defender in the next three to five years.”

This would be good news as the Reds desperately need a player who can provided defensive solidity alongside Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool have conceded two of more goals in three of their last five games in all competitions and shipped five against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Ibrahima Konate has missed 23 games due injury while Joel Matip has missed 14 games, so Klopp needs an upgrade that can stay fit. Gvardiol joined RB Leipzig in 2021 and has gone on to make 72 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals with four assists. He’s missed only 10 games in two years.

Gvardiol would improve Liverpool backline

The 21-year-old shone for Croatia during the 2022 World Cup in December, conceding one or less goals in six of their seven games, and he’s regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe. As a left-footer, he’d provide balance alongside Van Dijk too.

One sticking point might be his asking price, however, as Leipzig are demanding his €110m (£98m) release clause which would break Liverpool’s transfer record – £75m for Van Dijk, per BBC Sport. But with the Reds having competition from Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid , they can’t afford to dawdle.

Gvardiol has made 19 Bundesliga appearances across the board this season, boasting more interceptions per game (1.2) than Van Dijk (1.1), more clearances per game (2.5) than Joe Gomez (2.2), more blocks per game (0.5) than Konate (0.2) and Matip (0.1), and more passes (65.9) than Gomez (62.6), Konate (53.6) and Matip (56).

The Croatian international is over 6ft tall and dominant in the air with a 59.5% success rate from aerial duels, so he would be a good addition to the Liverpool backline. Time will tell how much the Reds have to pay to land his signature, however, as it’s hard to see them spending nearly £100m on the defender.

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