CHELSEA are reportedly leading the chase to sign RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol.
The 21-year-old Croatia international, who can play left-back or centre-half, is currently on World Cup duty.
Gvardiol, who has 14 caps, moved to Leipzig in 2020 but remained on loan with Dinamo Zagreb for another campaign.
But he has since established himself in the Bundesliga side’s first-team and helped them to reach the Europa League semi-final before they were dumped out by Rangers last term.
He has continued that fine form throughout the current season and has had a host of clubs chasing his services.
Chelsea have held a long-term interest and plotted a swoop for him in the summer.
Juventus have also been keen, while Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester City have also been linked.
Now outlet TuttoJuve are claiming that Timo Werner’s return to the German club from Stamford Bridge could lead to the Blues taking “advantage” due to their good relationship with the Bundesliga outfit.
The report also adds that Juventus are ready to end their interest as they are “unlikely” to even be able to “fight” against Chelsea for his signing.
Gvardiol has already outlined his ambition to play in England – although his dream was to head to Anfield instead of Stamford Bridge.
He admitted last year: “From a young age, I watched Liverpool games with my dad and I grew up with just them.
“When I took football more seriously, I started following them, and I definitely want the Premier League and Liverpool move one day.”
He has played in both of Croatia’s opening two group games at the World Cup.
Gvardiol and his team-mates are now hoping to seal a place in the knockouts by overcoming Belgium on Thursday.
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