Soccer switch information | Man Metropolis indicators Croatia centre-back Joško Gvardiol; Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez joins Chelsea

Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol controls the ball during the Euro 2024 group D qualifying soccer match between Croatia and Wales at the Poljud stadium in Split, Croatia, Saturday, March 25, 2023. Manchester City signed Croatia centre-back Joško Gvardiol from Leipzig for 90 million euros ($99.2 million).

Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol controls the ball in the course of the Euro 2024 group D qualifying soccer match between Croatia and Wales on the Poljud stadium in Break up, Croatia, Saturday, March 25, 2023. Manchester Metropolis signed Croatia centre-back Joško Gvardiol from Leipzig for 90 million euros ($99.2 million).
| Photograph Credit score: AP

Manchester Metropolis signed Croatia centre-back Joško Gvardiol from Leipzig for 90 million euros ($99.2 million) on Saturday, rating him among the many most costly defenders in soccer historical past.

The 21-year-old Gvardiol, often known as “Little Pep” due to his identify’s likeness to Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola, is among the most extremely rated defenders on the earth and enhanced his popularity with spectacular performances for Croatia on the World Cup final 12 months.

He signed a five-year contract with Metropolis, which gained a treble of trophies final season: the Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup.

“Anybody who noticed Manchester Metropolis play final season is aware of they’re one of the best workforce on the earth,” Gvardiol mentioned. “To win the treble says all the pieces you have to know in regards to the high quality this workforce has. To be becoming a member of Metropolis is one thing very particular for me and my household.”

At Leipzig, Gvardiol gained the German Cup in back-to-back seasons and performed within the Champions League.

The switch payment places him among the many likes of Manchester United’s Harry Maguire, who value 80 million kilos (then $97 million) when he joined from Leicester in 2019, and Virgil van Dijk, who moved from Southampton to Liverpool for 75 million kilos (then $100 million) in 2018.

“He’s a participant we’ve got watched carefully, and we really feel he has an outstanding set of attributes,” Metropolis director of soccer Txiki Begiristain mentioned. “High golf equipment throughout Europe have been monitoring him, so to deliver him right here is nice information for us.

“Josko has so many qualities — all the pieces you need in a centre-half. He’s quick, aggressive, combative, robust within the air, spectacular in possession of the ball, with robust self-belief and a very good character. He’s left-footed, too, which provides us good choices on the again.”

Gvardiol would probably play on the left facet of Metropolis’s again three, if Guardiola persists with the 3-2-4-1 formation he deployed within the second half of final season.

Metropolis additionally has Nathan Ake for that position in a formation that primarily sees the workforce play a defence filled with centre backs and dispense with full backs.

“To have the possibility to work with Pep Guardiola, too, will likely be superb for me,” Gvardiol mentioned. “I do know I’m not but the completed article and I’m positive my recreation will progress underneath one of the best coach in soccer.”

Gvardiol is Metropolis’s second signing of the offseason, after Croatia teammate Mateo Kovacic, who changed Ilkay Gundogan within the squad. Gundogan, Metropolis’s captain final season, has joined Barcelona, and winger Riyad Mahrez moved to Saudi Arabia with Al-Ahli.

Leipzig will likely be dropping a 3rd key participant this offseason, having offered playmaker Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool and ahead Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea. Extremely rated younger Slovenian striker Benjamin Šeško is becoming a member of Leipzig for the brand new season.

Chelsea signal goalkeeper Sanchez from Brighton

Chelsea have signed Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez from Brighton & Hove Albion on a seven-year contract, the Premier League membership introduced on Saturday.

British media reported that Chelsea pays 25 million kilos ($31.87 million) for the Spain worldwide.

Chelsea have been seeking to bolster their goalkeeping choices since Edouard Mendy joined Saudi Arabian facet Al-Ahli in June.

Chelsea need to revive their fortunes underneath new supervisor Mauricio Pochettino after coming twelfth within the standings final season – their worst end since 1994.

“Robert has repeatedly proved himself within the Premier League and been capped by his nation,” Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, Chelsea’s co-sporting administrators, mentioned in an announcement.

“We’re excited to observe him work with Mauricio and his teaching workforce in the course of the season forward.”

Sanchez joined Brighton’s academy in 2013 and has made 87 Premier League appearances for the south-coast membership, however fell out of favour in direction of the tip of the earlier season, with Jason Steele beginning 15 of Brighton’s final 16 league video games.

The 25-year-old, who’s adept together with his ft and has a powerful vary of passing, has gained two caps for Spain. He’ll compete for the goalkeeper place at Stamford Bridge with compatriot Kepa Arrizabalaga.

“Robert is an efficient man and a very good participant, however being a coach typically means making troublesome and painful selections for the workforce,” Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi mentioned.

“I want him good luck for the long run.”

(With inputs from AP and Reuters)

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