RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol is currently Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s “number one” defensive target, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Despite the obvious need for new defenders following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen this summer, Kalidou Koulibaly remains Chelsea’s only defensive signing so far.

Bear in mind that earlier this month, Tuchel admitted that he needs at least one more defender.

The Blues were in the race for Jules Kounde, who eventually joined Barcelona after “doubts” from the English club’s camp, according to Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

Romano claims that Chelsea are working on two other centre-back targets; Leicester City’s Fofana and Leipzig’s Gvardiol with the latter reportedly higher on the list.

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“Gvardiol is one of the top names on [Chelsea’s] list — Thomas Tuchel is in love with this player,” the Italian transfer expert said on his YouTube channel.

“Let me say that he’s option number one in the list, but as of today, the situation on Leipzig’s side is still the same — they have no intention at all to sell Gvardiol this summer.

“So, it is going to be more than complicated.

“For Fofana, it’s difficult, but you can negotiate. For Gvardiol, it’s not even the case. He’s considered untouchable by Leipzig, so Chelsea would need a miracle to sign Gvardiol.”

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Romano added that Chelsea have already tried to propose a potential swap deal for Gvardiol, offering Timo Werner’s service on loan as a part of the deal.

While Leipzig are reportedly keen on Werner, they remain reluctant to let go of Gvardiol.

“At the moment, it’s more than difficult because Leipzig don’t want to sell the player,” Romano explained.

“But Chelsea tried, and let’s see if something can happen.”

Arguably one of the best young centre-backs in Europe, it is easy to see why Tuchel is reportedly a big fan of Gvardiol.

Aside from his obvious defensive abilities, the 20-year-old is also renowned for his ball-playing skills.

As Romano pointed out, however, his being under contract at Leipzig until 2026 means that Chelsea are facing an uphill battle to convince the Bundesliga club to let go one of their key players.

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